First things first, what is your brand?
This is the message you are conveying to the rest of the world who you are and what you are passionate about. The actual description of personal branding is “the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.” Now that you have a clear view of what a brand is, let’s talk about four easy steps to build it.
- Becoming your most authentic self. The brand is a second image of who you are as a person and a professional. People prefer to make connections with individuals who are also real, so if you appear fake or have a separate persona that you do not identify with on a personal level it will show that you are not comfortable in your own skin. Being completely authentic is considered an understanding of your truest self while being able to deliver this to the entire world.
- Public Speaking. This is my favorite. In order for other professionals to hear you must not be afraid to speak. This will not only develop your communications skills but also exhibit confidence in what you say and who you are. It is ok to start small because no one is expecting you to have your own TED talk the moment you start your professional career, but you do need to keep pursuing the high-quality speaking engagements so that you build a following.
- Recognize the rate of change for your industry. Technology is constantly changing and in order to be a successful profession in this day-in-age, you must be able to keep up. For example, do you know about Venmo? This is an app that “allows you to pay and request money from your friends. At its core, Venmo provides a social way to pay your friends when you owe them money and don’t want to deal with cash.”I am not saying you will be able to be on top of this game all of the time, but this is another way to capture the attention of other influencers and keep up with what is going on with this generation.
- And the most important, to build a presence online! I will speak about this subject in more detail later on.
Here is a list of 10 Unconventional Ways to Build Your Personal Brand by Entrepreneur. Tips like being silly, starting your own community and doing an ‘AMA’ (ask me anything). Do not forget that items such as a resume and a business card should also reflect your personality. Here is a picture of the back of my business card and it captures my optimistic view of growth in professionalism through a succulent.
Now let’s go over social media and your brand. This is a spin on traditional marketing. If you want a client of a future employer to find you without any issues, you must make the search easy. The three main points of using social media to expand your personal brand include understanding the value of each platform, the purpose of LinkedIn, and the writing styles of twitter.
Respecting each platform. This is when you decide which social media outlet you will decide to pursue. Whether it be on Instagram or SnapChat, you must be able to see the value that each platform holds when creating and distributing your brand. Instagram is perfect if you are a traveler or chef looking for an outlet that will not only showcase what you see but also can provide links and a description of what you are experiencing at that moment. Snapchat is a great platform if your life is constantly on the go and if you attend multiple showcases such as conferences or other public speaking events that may be limited. Next would have to be Pinterest. This is the most underutilized social media platform because it is hard to gain follower and connect to a population when it is more common for females to use the site, but you do have an advantage if you know how to pin and create captivating boards that will place your brand on a new level of interest. Now we can move to the most vital point of distributing a personal brand professionally, LinkedIn.
LinkedIn: why is this so important? If you live in the world of business then you know about LinkedIn. This site connects you to CEOs, popular influencers such as Arianna Huffington and Nicholas Thompson, and can help you find the job of your dreams with the incite of people or organizations you follow. For example, I have a passion for making dreams come true and Disney is a major player in the world of having a personal and delivering the ideal vacation to every family who walks through their doors. I recently became acquainted with a Sales Marketing Manager at Disney who has agreed to help me find the best position to develop my skills set and this is because of networking and also utilizing my LinkedIn profile to follow other Disney professionals and connect with the individual who can make my career. Make sure that when creating your profile you take the time do write your own captivating profile and have a professional headshot as your profile picture. Next will be twitter, the real game changer.
Twitter, also known as a journalist dream! Within 140 characters you have to establish a thought that will not only reflects your own opinion but contains important information that you feel needs to be shared with the rest of the world. At the same time, you need to make sure that you are consistent on you thoughts not only on this platform but on all others. Here is a photo of my professional twitter which contains the same profile and background picture as my other accounts so that my brand has the same theme throughout the multiple platforms.
Let’s review what you need to remember about distributing your brand over social media. First, you need to understand yourself to create a brand that represents your unique self. Next would not be afraid of public speaking, understanding that technology is always changing and so is your industry and last but no least, your online presence serves a second business card to the entire world so it is imperative that you create a professional presence on the sites that you respond to the most.
Here is a quote that recognizes that all of us need to understand the importance of branding.
“Building a profitable personal brand online is not a sprint, and something that happens over night. Don’t aim for perfection early on. Instead allow your brand to evolve naturally over time and focus on providing massive value and over deliver to your target audience. Then you will get more clear over your message and brand as well. Always remember that!”
– Navid Moazzez