You want to create a personal brand to get noticed by employers and put your career on the fast track, but how do you do it?
Personal branding is the process of creating and maintaining a specific image of yourself. Just like companies create brands to be known for specific things like great service or amazing products, you can create a personal brand to be known for anything you want.
Companies have been using the power of branding for years and a great example is Apple. Have you ever wondered how you know it’s a commercial for an iPhone before the product is ever mentioned? What about that feeling you get when you walk into an Apple Store? Ever wonder why all Apple products have the same look and feel? This is because Apple has branded themselves so well, that you know you’re having an Apple brand experience immediately. If Apple can use branding to become a billion-dollar company, imagine the positive influence branding can have on your career.
How can you harness the power of branding to advance your career? Read on as we share the five steps to creating a personal brand!
Step 1: Align your personal brand with your professional goals
The first step to creating an awesome personal brand is to decide exactly what you want your personal brand to be, also known as your brand identity. This step is extremely important because everything else will be built on this.
To determine exactly what you want your personal brand to be, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
- Why are you creating a personal brand?
- What are your professional goals?
- What do you want to be known for?
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your strengths?
Answering these questions will help you get a clearer picture of what your personal brand should be. For example, if you are a medical student, some of your answers could be to get a job, advance your career, and to be known as an expert in your local healthcare community.
Step 2: Choose your platforms
With the rise of social media and mobile devices, personal branding has never been easier. We all have the ability to create our personal brand from anywhere, at any time, but choosing which social media channels you should focus on can be a challenge. Should you start with Twitter or Facebook? LinkedIn or Instagram?
Deciding which platforms to use in creating your personal brand really comes down to answering this: Who do you want to see your personal brand and what social platforms are they using?
For this step, it’s really that simple. If you’re a medical student and want potential employers to see your personal brand and notice you, then Facebook and LinkedIn are probably where you want to be. If you’re a graphic designer and you want to show off your work, Instagram would be a better option for you.
Step 3: Network with relevant professionals
After you have decided what your personal brand will be and what platforms you’re going to be active on, it’s time to start networking and building relationships with others. Begin by following relevant accounts in your niche. Feel free to like and comment on their posts when you have something to add to the conversation, as this will help to build the relationship.
Using our medical student example, you could follow local healthcare leaders, potential employers, healthcare industry experts, and relevant industry organizations. In addition to liking and commenting on their posts, you can share their content that aligns with the personal brand you are creating. For example, if a medical industry expert shares a post about an updated procedure, you can reshare this to your page as well.
Step 4: Share your knowledge and expertise
Sharing content to your chosen social media platforms that shows your own knowledge and expertise is essential to building your personal brand. This can be any type of digital content including photos, videos, blogs, status updates, tweets, and more.
When creating content, think about what the audience you are trying to reach would be interested in. For our medical student example, this could be photos of hands-on training for things like EKGs or blood draws. For a graphic designer, this would be photos of their various designs. Testimonials and recommendations from previous experience are always great to share because they validate your skills.
Step 5: Always be yourself
Creating a personal brand has many advantages and can boost your career, but always remember to be yourself! People connect with other people who are authentic and genuine, so letting your true self shine is a must when creating and building your personal brand.
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