Building Your Personal Brand
Personal branding is essential to one’s professional success. No matter what industry, knowing how to represent yourself in a memorable way and build your reputation as a thought leader is necessary.
A recent article by the Social Media Examiner about personal branding inspired us to add our two cents from our experience with clients and colleagues to offer you our best tips on how to make your personal brand powerful.
Let What You Do Best Be Known
What do you want to be known for? Choose your top 3 characteristics. Whether it’s industry related, management, personality, or another niche, narrow it down to create an easy to recognize personal brand.
Once you have a better understanding of your own brand, create credibility by keeping your digital professional profiles updated (up to date information on your career, volunteering, etc.) and show activity (post interesting articles, blogs you’ve written, events you’re attending, etc.).
For example, over 360 million professionals use LinkedIn, which allows professionals to connect, recommend and converse about industries, opportunities and news. Another great professional site is about.me where you can focus on your area of expertise and share it with professionals in your area. Be sure to keep your information on these profiles clean cut and to the point, don’t add information for the sake of filling out the profiles, be realistic.
Staying active on these sites show others that no matter what position you hold, you are open minded and eager to grow, and in turn willing to help others grow.
Share Your Expertise and Experience
Professional profiles, such as LinkedIn and about.me, share your experience with others, so they can understand your background and accomplishments.
Sharing your experiences is the first step, and next is your ability to reflect on them. Reflecting on a previous position, a current board position, or even a speaking or volunteer opportunity displays your knowledge, abilities, expertise and techniques. This is where your brand begins to reach beyond you and begins to develop your persona as a thought leader.
Share insights about your accomplishments, including specifics on areas you performed best at, results that wouldn’t have been possible without your efforts, and improvements you recommend in hindsight. You can show your humility and expertise by also sharing characteristics that you plan to work on and improve.
Create Your Personal Brand Pitch
You’ve heard of the elevator speech, well for digital personal branding you need a strong statement to reach your audience and simply explain your expertise in the 3 areas you identified earlier. Although the statement you create is about you, it isn’t for you.
Keeping that in mind will help make your statement more clear and effective. Stand in your audience’s shoes for a moment and understand what they want and need to hear from you; this will make your personal branding statement one they will not soon forget.
It is vital that you clearly communicate your expertise and differentiators in your statement.
Still not sure where to start for your personal pitch? Do your research. Check out other professional’s profiles online within or outside your industry or niche. Research what they do, what they’re best at, what they’re known for and then you can get ideas on vocabulary and positioning.
Now your personal brand statement can speak to your audience and ensure they know your expertise and that you have a leg up on your competition!
Line up each social platform you have a presence on next to each other and ensure your personal brand is consistently represented on them all. This will embody your own consistency as a professional.
For example, don’t have a professional headshot and clean look on your LinkedIn profile and have Facebook be a mess with scattered and unprofessional photos and layouts.
Keep consistent over all platforms, from Twitter to Instagram and any other sites you have a presence on, including your blog. Make your visual brand as important as your brand descriptions, keep it memorable and appropriate, but also make sure it’s consistent.
Being consistent on your digital presence must also spill over to your real life personality. You can’t appear one way online and then when someone meets you in person, you don’t embody anything that you communicated online. So, make sure your digital personal brand exhibits your true personality. Find a way for your professional and personal brands to coexist and intrigues people to want to learn more about you!
Your Name is on the Line
Your reputation begins and ends with your name. Do you know what your name represents? Probably not. Right now, open a new tab in your browser and Google yourself. What does your name bring up? Take those results and create a plan to ensure your personal brand will appear first from now on!
Once your name is out there, the growth of it is all up to you. Participation, engagement and consistency will attract others to you and help build your brand reputation.
Do you think you’re ready to launch your personal brand? Do you already have one that just needs some revamping? Keep these tips on file and feel free to reach out to KAPTIV with any questions! KAPTIV’s helped many thought leaders take their expertise and expand upon it online, assisting them to win awards, honors and speaking engagements.