The goal of developing a personal brand is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Often, personal branding happens only in certain areas, resulting in a "mismatched" brand that causes confusion instead of setting you apart.
The goal of developing a personal brand is to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Often, personal branding happens only in certain areas, resulting in a "mismatched" brand that causes confusion instead of setting you apart. Here are ways you can ensure your personal brand is aligned with your goals and aspirations. With a well-aligned personal brand, you greatly increase the chances of receiving your dream job.
Defining Your Brand
The first step in creating a strong personal brand is to define your goals and aspirations. What job do you really want to land? Be as specific as possible in your thinking. Once you determine what it is you want to do, it is time to research others that hold that position or a similar position. Learn who your biggest competitors are, and examine the social profiles of those individuals to learn how they are positioning themselves in the market.
Once you have completed your research, determine what attributes you want to convey as part of your personal brand. What words do you want people to think about when they consider you as a product. In your position, what industry niche will you target? How will develop your expertise in the niche and publicize it?
It can be a great idea to conduct a gap analysis. When you do so, consider the following questions:
- What does your current profile convey, and what do you want your future profile to convey?
- How far apart are they, and what gaps need to be filled?
- Do changes need to be made? If so, what are they?
- Work to develop the areas where gaps exist.
Building Your Social Profiles
Create your social media profiles, especially LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Make sure each profile is aligned to the other in tone, style and content. Use the profiles of your toughest competitors to determine what characteristics you need to convey in your profile and how others have done it creatively. You want your profile to jump off the page and be creative so that people linger over your profiles because they are interesting, well organized and demonstrate the skills you have to offer. If you are looking for a graphic design position, for example, focus on demonstrating those skills in the presentation of your brand.
Building Social Authority
Connect your profiles, blog and website so that people can get a clear and complete view of who you are as a brand. Use your website and blog to develop your expertise as a subject matter expert and to demonstrate the skills you bring to the table. Maybe it is writing, graphic design, or marketing skills. Here is where your voice gets heard. Use your brand to engage in online communities. Answer questions on LinkedIn so others get to know your name and your niche of expertise. Develop your authority.
The Complete Brand
Your personal brand extends beyond your resume and social profiles. Your strategy for personal branding must also include your clothing, hair, makeup, your verbal and non-verbal communication styles and your work style. Every aspect of who you are needs to be a carefully choreographed part of your overall personal branding.
Make sure your photos are up-to-date so that if someone is viewing your profile picture and then meets you in person, they know it is the same person. Your in-person behavior must represent how you want others to perceive you and it must be aligned with the behaviors of the personal brand you create.
Live Your Brand
Once you create your personal brand, you must live it all the time. If you send out messages that are not in alignment with your brand, you will create confusion. Remember, there is no personal information now: everything you post is public and available to your potential employers. Be sure you carefully consider what you are posting, the voice you use and whether or not the comment you are making is in alignment with the persona you want to convey.
Self-branding has become especially essential for Millennials who, unlike the generations preceding them, are no longer defining themselves by one company or career. Priorities are shifting from their employers to their own skill sets and brand.
This shift opens the door to finding the dream job, because it is no longer simply about a career path; it is about selling your skills to find the perfect work environment in which to apply them. Self-branding help you find the perfect job. It is the best way to guarantee a great match between what you do best and companies that are looking for your skill set.
- Blake Anderson
- Self Branding