I’ve noticed an interesting trend in the people I’ve met with over the past few weeks. People are asking more and more questions about personal branding? For example, I’ve fielded questions like:
Where do I start with personal branding?
What am I supposed to be branding myself as?
How do I know if I’m doing it right?
If you havn’t been living under a rock, you know that the current state of the job market has changed. Gone are the days when the single PR person or Communication Division of an organization can be held solely responsible for operating as the voice of an organization or company.
Personal branding is a hot topic because in this job market is not forgiving. Regardless of your organizational role — you need to be developing and maintaining a compelling personal brand.
So, on to the good stuff: PERSONAL BRANDING: 5 Ways to Start Branding Yourself Today.
1. Determine how you want people to describe you
The biggest challenge to personal branding is deciding how you describe you — and more importantly: How you hope others describe you. Think of it this way: Your good friend is describing you to someone that they think might be a good contact for you both. What do you think this person says about you in a short 5 minute phone conversation?
If you imagine this person searching for the “best” or “right” words to describe you because they aren’t sure what you do, then you might benefit from some personal branding work. Consider identifying 2-4 key professional and personal interest areas — that may or may not overlap with your professional interests.
2. Utilize a Venue for Others to Know You
In the digital age, personal branding is a lot easier than it use to be. In addition to speaking publicly, writing books, and networking, people can create and execute a personal branding using a variety of social media outlets. Whether you create a blog to speak about your the professional and personal interest areas you have identified, or Twitter to alert others of important industry news and developments — personal branding does not work without a venue for others to know you. So, take the leap!
3. Create or Update A LinkedIn Profile
Although some use LinkedIn as a place to have a digital resume — LinkedIn offers much, much more than that. As the professional’s social network, LinkedIn is where you can do a lot of personal branding work in a concentrated way and to a receptive audience. Be sure to take advantage of the many features to enhance your LinkedIn profile so that it features more than your employment history.
Remember, it’s a social network and can regularly feature fresh content such as SlideShare presentations, books selections, Twitter updates and more. For more information about LinkedIn review: 25 Tips for Effective Online Networking using LinkedIn and Twitter and LinkedIn and Twitter: Why the New Application Rocks.
4. Start Blogging
Of the range of social media opportunities available out there, I seem to get the most adverse reactions to blogging. Frequently people respond to the suggestion to start with blogging first, What would I write about? Then, people ask: How often do you think I should write? Finally, individuals typically round out their resistance by stating: Well, I don’t have time to blog.
Although there are plenty of reasons to hesitate diving into the blogging deep end — ultimately blogging is a great personal branding tool. Whether it’s short term — for the purposes of finding a new position, or long term — with the goal to monetize your venture, blogging can do loads for your personal brand.
5. Be a Resource Person
Let’s face it, not too many people like to be sold to. When someone is ready to purchase that’s when they want to be sold to — therefore, engaging in shameless self promotion is not the best strategy to employ as you begin your personal branding venture. So, consider using the 80/20 rule for social media content. 80% of your content is made up of industry news and information or the like, while 20% of your content is about you and what you’re doing. Check out: 5 Ways to Create Engaging Content,
- The GAP Logo Poll: Is Ignoring Brand Equity A New Marketing Trend? (rohitbhargava.com)
- Building Your Personal Brand With Social Media (blogs.forbes.com)
- Why Personal Branding Is So Misunderstood (rohitbhargava.com)