Very strange coincidence… I have been debating writing about building your personal brand as I walked to work this morning and when I got to my office I found a card on my chair. I loved the headline. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” (unknown) It seemed like the perfect headline for some thoughts about creating/building your personal brand.
Just my opinion, but I feel this is so important. I tell this to the younger people at the office and moms I meet online. And as a mom, I’ve even been guiding my daughter on that front. We tell our children to be careful what they post on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, but do we teach our children the positive aspects of being social and how it can help build your personal brand?
Why do you need a personal brand?
We live in a very competitive world. Companies are looking for thought leaders and people with opinions. You need to stand for something. A resume alone isn’t going to do anymore. It’s a great way to network and build a support system. It’s your reputation. It’s evidence of your potential value to a company.
Even as a teenager, my daughter is a perfect example of a personal brand at work. She’s gotten summer internships and offers, a year-long gig working for Seventeen Magazine, a prospective manager and recently a guest posting opportunity for a female focused website. Not to mention college applications asked for a resume and all of her connections were great additions to it. Hopefully she will keep it up and her grades as her personal brand will be important when she gets out and starts job hunting.
Having a personal brand is not only important for you individually, but more and more companies like/expect employees to come with a sphere of influence and a presence online. Your personal brand can help build the company’s reputation at the same time you continue growing your own. And it’s worth the investment as your brand is your brand no matter where you go.
So how do you build a personal brand?
1. Find your topic. Figure out what you’re passionate about. People connect through emotion. Find your brand’s pillars and use them as a filter for what you write about. Consistency is of messaging is key. And put some self-imposed deliverables on yourself and evolve over time. I started off making myself commit to one post a week and added as I went.
2. Be on several channels. One won’t cut it. And don’t forget an about.me page. It’s one link to share all of your links when someone asks.
3. Include photos, video to bring things to life. Your brand is not just your words.
4. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. People don’t want to engage with a manufactured version of what you think you should be.
5. Have patience. It takes time to build a brand. It’s not like you have a paid media campaign supporting the making of you.
6. Put a Google Alert on yourself. No it’s not being narcissistic. It’s your personal brand you’re managing and you want credit for you content. There’s been many an occasion where I’ve found unexpected content of mine out there without attribution or links back.
7. Ask opinions. Include quotes from friends. It’s a great way to build an audience for your brand.
If you have additional thoughts on building a personal brand, please share them!