10 Simple Tips to Start Building your Personal Brand

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10 Simple Tips to Start Building your Personal Brand

Brands like Apple and Nike want the world to “Think Different” and to “Just Do It”. Over the years, slogans have set a tone for how a company identifies itself in the market. They have narrated a story, representing and influencing different buyers.

Branding helps reflect how a company acts and serves its buyers. It represents the values they project. A strong brand performs better in the market. But, branding isn’t just for companies. It’s also for professionals with the stories they wish to narrate. In this digital era, a personal brand is expected.

What is a personal brand? 

A personal brand is similar to a corporate brand. It represents who you are, the values you believe in and your idea of expressing these values. It communicates these ideas to the customers to create value to potential clients.

Personal branding is the story an individual has and wants to tell the world.

The story helps in establishing one’s brand. A personal brand should shine on one’s strengths, reputation, trust and communication skills. It sends employers a signal about whether you are the perfect fit for a role available. 

Developing your own brand is a challenge. But there are steps to keep in mind to build your reputation and credibility. Here are a few tips to develop your personal brand:

  1. Who are you?

To build a personal brand that reflects your identity, you need to be aware of who you are. One should introspect and reflect on the strengths and weaknesses. It is important to know in which area of work your interest lies, what drives you to work, what projects are frequently given to you and what areas of work drain your energy.

If you are facing difficulties to answer these questions, ask your friends and family. This will help you develop an awareness of all the facets of your personality and help you brand them better.

Choosing a niche is important. Your brand will grow and change along with your career. The best strategy is to let your area of focus evolve. 

  1. Who do you want to be?

Your brand is not just a reflection of how you see yourself today; it lays down a path of where you want to be. By assessing your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be aware of the skills and traits you possess. This helps you work on yourself to advance. Predicting where you want to be in 10 years and the skills you want to be associated with – can help you work on the steps you need to undertake to get there.

In the process, you’ll also uncover the traits that make you YOU. By doing this, you’ll uncover the skills and traits that make you distinct, as well as the areas where you need to improve or gain new knowledge to advance.

  1. Who are you trying to reach?

Before creating your personal brand, you need to take a look at your audience. Is it for other industries? Is it for an individual, a recruiter or a client? The sooner you make these choices, the easier it will be to create your brand. 

For example, if your goal is to get in touch with recruiters, you need to create and update your LinkedIn profile. A lot of recruiters leverage social media to find quality candidates. Similarly, if you are an illustrator, you need to create a personal website or a portfolio to attract customers.

  1. Research

As you work on mapping your career, research on experts working in these roles. Take a look at the leaders who are in the field of your interest and follow them. Look at their works and focus on what they are doing. In the process of building a brand, you have to stand out. For this, it is important to research and develop an understanding of what works best. 

  1. Ask questions

When you come up with a list of companies you want to work in, reach out to the experts and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It is a vital part of your growth. These questions should help you garner new insights about the field of your choice. Find out how they began working, what steps they took, how the industry is evolving and how they stay up-to-date with the latest trends. By learning about what it takes to get into a profession, you are building your brand by establishing a dialogue.

  1. Elevator pitch

When you conceptualise your brand, work on crafting on an elevator pitch. This is a 30-60 second story about yourself. So, if you have an informal party or event and have to describe your brand, an elevator pitch would give you the support you need. 

It is important to come up with short, concise stories that can frame your traits in the right light. Keep the pitch brief by focusing on points you want to emphasize.

  1. Networking

While working on your personal brand, networking is essential to improve on your professional circle. Connect with peers and leaders by taking part in formal and informal events. These connections will help your personal brand develop recognition. Don’t feel shy to ask fellow attendees to meet again over a cup of coffee later. If that doesn’t work out, reach out via LinkedIn to start a conversation.

  1. Ask for recommendations

Ask your current and former co-workers and managers to endorse you. This is an effective way to define your brand. Endorsement helps communicate your value. LinkedIn is a great place to ask for recommendations. Ensure that the people who recommend you are willing to be a reference during your job search. Former managers, mentors, professors and leaders of organisations you worked with are a few people who can craft effective recommendations.

  1. Your online presence

An important aspect of your personal brand is to make sure your online presence is engaging. With several social media tools available today, your online presence will vary according to the medium you choose. 

Also, if you have a profile exclusively for your close circle, adjust your privacy settings accordingly. Here are a few tips that can help you: 

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the ultimate site to help you develop your personal brand. It can help one participate in groups, make introductions and ask/get recommendations.

On LinkedIn, ensure you focus on your key industrial skills, quantify your accomplishments, use a professional photograph of yourself and do not leave your profile incomplete.

Twitter

Twitter can be used to highlight your industry expertise. Work on your Twitter bio. Incorporate hashtags, follow experts from your feed and take part in the top stories from your industry. What you tweet is a part of your online image.

Portfolio/Website

If you’re in a marketing or design field, it is essential to have a website or a portfolio. This can help you showcase visually who you are and what you do. Make use of resources like Canva and WordPress to create brand-specific content.

  1. Your personal brand isn’t just online

Your brand also includes how you are at home, in your workspace, and at all social events. It is so much more than just an online persona. The more opportunities you receive to work with others and to lead a team, work on it. This is all a part of the brand you create. Strong leaders exist in all levels of an organisation. It comes from your behaviour, attitude and interaction with people. Ultimately, how you communicate and lead a team can shape the story of your brand

As you grow, don’t forget to reinvent your brand. The digital ecosystem will keep changing. Your career will keep evolving. Your brand shouldn’t stay at level 1. Adjust your online and offline persona to match your opportunities and reflect on the person you are.

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