How much thought have you given to developing your personal brand? Not your company or your product—but your personal profile.
When you consider that most people are comfortable around those they know, and that people like to do business with those they like, it’s important to help people make an authentic connection with you. Personal branding is a great way to let people get to know who you truly are, helping you build trust, credibility and connections.
No matter your industry or position, to put your best self forward—to help land a new job, earn a promotion, secure a position on the Board, etc.—it’s wise to align your personal brand and curate content, just as you would with your business.
You don’t have to be a powerhouse like Oprah to have a personal brand; we all have one: From social media channels, to business news, to blogs or podcasts, to charitable work…all that you say and do paints a multi-dimensional picture of who you are.
This article in Entrepreneur magazine offers a simple checklist to help you manage that persona, creating an engaging and relatable personal brand image. Here’s a summary:
- Upgrade your mindset. Switch up the way you approach social media. Instead of posting vacation pics and food photos, work to align your content to show off your skills and competencies to audiences that consume that information across multiple platforms. But be genuine: In an age when social media channels can blur the lines between real life and scripted or edited content, people crave transparency. Strive to connect with your audience in authentic and meaningful ways.
- Define your expertise. Do this by simply outlining your experience on a piece of paper and use it as a roadmap to reflect it in the digital world: Showcase what you know—your core abilities. Even if you’re just getting started on your journey, people will be interested in following your progress.
- Be everywhere… even on the platforms that you don’t yet know how to use. This is the best way to grow your reach. But have a focus: You don’t have to be everything to everyone. Keeping your messaging clear, focused and consistent will help people connect with you–and remember who you are.
- Share knowledge. What you need to do across your different online channels is to share knowledge to help your audience benefit from your unique experience. You can also share resources, opportunities, lessons learned, successes, failures—these authentic posts offer information in a personal way.
- Engage with others. Don’t build a one-way channel that broadcasts information only; create an engaging community around you, where you’d reach out to others in your field, and engage with their content in a meaningful way. Like their posts (if you really do) and leave comments that provide value. And let other people tell your story: Create content that’s engaging and share-worthy and you’re more than half-way there: Word of mouth is the best PR; so arm people with relevant, memorable content that they’ll be excited to pass along.
Building a personal brand is an evolving process—and it’s one that’s important for many of us whether we’re just starting out in our careers or are seasoned professionals. As you continue to build and realign your brand to establish your reputation, ask yourself: What do I want to be known for? The answer to that question should help you frame your everyday actions and priorities.