Your personal brand is, at a very basic level, what you stand for. This is reflected in how you act, how you interact with others, the values you have, and how you project those values every day. Having a strong personal brand sends a clear signal to potential employers or clients what your strengths are, establishes your reputation, helps you build trust, and communicates exactly what you can bring to the table.
Now it is important to note that your personal brand exists, whether you have consciously cultivated it or not makes no difference. So, it is in your best interest to start working on a strong personal brand that represents you exactly how you want it to.
To get you started, here are a few tips to help you improve your personal brand:
- Who are you?
Figuring out who you are is the first step towards building a personal brand that reflects your identity. For this exercise, you will want to dig deep and make a detailed list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as figure out what you like and don’t like, what kind of roles are the most fulfilling for you, what motivates you, etc. Once you know more about your personality, you will be able to decide what the best way to brand yourself is.
- What do you want to be known for?
Here is where you figure out what your interest, cause, or purpose is. If you are known for something specific your brand will be much stronger than if you try to be everything for everybody.
- Who do you want to reach?
Determining who your intended audience is, should help you define how you will want to frame your personal story, and where you want to be telling it. You might have the most wonderful personal brand, but if you are talking to the wrong audience then it will be way more difficult for you to get to where you want to go.
Now that you have an audience in mind it is time to tell your story and hopefully form strong connections and professional relationships. Attend formal and informal networking events regularly and make sure you provide value in your interactions. This will help you make more connections while also helping your brand be recognized.
- Grow your online presence
Your personal brand should definitely be present in the relevant digital channels. Make sure that your brand is consistent across the internet, and that there is a clear separation between your professional brand and your personal accounts. You can do this by using privacy filters in most social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
- Keep updating your brand
As your career evolves it is important to have your personal brand evolve alongside it. So, make sure you revisit your personal brand often so it reflects your current values, and appeals to the current relevant audience.