What is a personal brand?
Although some of us don't realise it, many celebrities have been developing and building a personal brand for decades. Think, Posh & Becks, and how they successfully built the #Beckham brand, which was already flying high, before digital social media stepped in.
According to Brand Yourself, when discussing personal branding "we are referring to establishing and promoting what you stand for. Your personal brand is the unique combination of skills and experiences that make you, you.
"Effective personal branding will differentiate you from other professionals in your field".
Why does it matter so much?
Building a powerful personal brand, helps you to establish credibility within your field of work, your professional network and can result in opportunities finding you.
Recruiters, managers and future bosses are googling you! Believe it, HR and recruitment professionals are avid users of social platforms and they do their research.
Importantly, optimising your online presence serves as a tool for you to be more visible to future employers, voluntary projects, establishing a strong network of contacts and drives up your own personal confidence, and can be a good base for that future busienss tyou want to launchg.
Finally, it helps you to stay at the top of people's minds (gatekeepers and influencers) for when that great opportunity emerges in this ever competitive world.
How you can build your personal media brand?
1. First of all
Think of yourself as a brand and be authentic, real and honest.
2. Make the necessary changes to your online presence
You can start by uploading a photo to your profile (more personable), describe your professional work but also something more personal for example if you were a recruiter you can write: I love to connect people to job opportunities (recruiters) and on my time off I love to go hiking and the occasional budge jump.
3. Establish a personal website
Setting up a simple and easy website can be surprisingly very low cost and allows you to create an online professional website about your work and sample projects or case studies.
4. Add more value to your community
Ever wanted to get involved in a local community project, be a guest speaker or organise a workshop related to an area of your expertise. You can offer this service for free or invite local contacts, students, professionals or a wider audience.
5. Engage, reach out and network
As above, engaging, reaching out and getting involved is a great way to build and extend your network. You don't need to be involve din large scale events. You can start a small group of professionals in meet ups, converse with a local gallery, council or charity and get involved in events or contact your alumni and reconnect with your contacts.
"Good examples of people are Richard Branson, Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Fred Smith, Warren Buffet and even Donald Trump -- whose personal brand may be bigger than his business. Where would their companies be without their personal brands shining on their company brands?" (Matt Sweetwood, personal and social branding expert).
Building a personal brand can be a fun and creative path for you to explore. Let the adventure begin, the important thing is to start!