There’s a lot of opportunity in this world to make all of your professional dreams come true, but there’s no denying that there’s a lot of competition out there. As such, it’s important that you’re doing all that you can do to get yourself ahead of the pack. Things like studying for qualifications and working hard will both help, but it’s also important to incorporate more modern techniques into your professional career, too. One increasingly popular method is to brand yourself. This is called personal branding, which is the process of sculpting your persona in such a way that you can become known for the characteristics that you present to the world. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at a few methods you can use to achieve this goal.
Know Your Strengths
The whole point of personal branding is that it’ll ultimately lead to new opportunities. As such, it’s important to focus on the things that you excel at. If you’re going to build your professional identity around something, then it should be something that you’re good at. So in the early stages of planning, think about the skills you have that you can do better than other people. It’s all about elevating the skills that you’re good at. During this period of reflection, it’s also recommended that you take a look at your weaknesses too. Ultimately, when you’re promoting the entire you (rather than just one skill), there’ll be times when you need to do things that are outside of your forte. By thinking about your weaknesses at the beginning, you’ll have an opportunity to work on them ahead of time.
Choosing Your Niche
The process of personal branding is all about diving deeper. It’s about going into detail, rather than just keeping things vague. For example, it’s not enough to just say that you’re a specialist in marketing; it’ll be much better to present yourself as a specialist in Facebook marketing. This will help in numerous ways. For starters, it’ll enable people who are looking for your specific offering to find you. Second, it’ll allow you to figure out who you’re targeting. Though personal branding will help to effortlessly bring clients to you, there’ll also be times when you need to market your services out there. If you know the specific skill that you’re selling, then you’ll be able to target your intended much more accurately.
Sharing Your Knowledge
A crucial part of establishing your personal brand will be to show yourself as an expert in your field. To do this, you’ll need to share the knowledge that you’ve acquired (not all of it, of course, eventually you’ll want to be paid for your expertise). There are multiple ways to do this, including writing blogs, appearing on podcasts, and releasing ebooks. You won’t be recognised for your expertise straight away, but that’s slowly what will happen. Most importantly, when people search for your name, they’ll see that there are multiple outlets where you’re showing off your knowledge. Of course, the more reputable the sites where your writing appears, the better it’ll be. Nobody will doubt your credentials if you’re a regular contributor to Forbes, the Huffington Post, and so on.
Get the Look
When it comes to personal branding, it’s important to remember that you need to focus on the whole package. It’s not just what you say, or the work you create, but also how you look. It has to be in sync with what you’re telling the world about yourself. If you’re pitching yourself as a young, trendy, progressive entrepreneur, then you should look that way too. It would look strange if you dressed as if you worked in a traditional office space. Instead, you should curate your own wardrobe of professional yet stylish clothes. In addition to their clothes, a young and forward-thinking entrepreneur should have some of the staples of modern trend culture, such as a tattoo. If you haven’t yet got one, take a look at the work offered by Monumental Ink Tattoo Studio, and book yourself in for a session. Focusing on your appearance isn’t shallow, and other people aren’t being judgemental by looking at your appearance as a way to check your authenticity. It’s just about showing that you walk the walk, as well as talk the talk.
Exciting Social Media Profiles
Your personal branding mission will be considered a failure if it’s not making you stand out from the crowd. If you’re just lost in a sea of fellow professionals, then you’ll need to find a way to get your voice heard. In order to do this, you’ll need to make the most of the tools at your disposal. By far the most useful ones will be your social media channels and your blog – if you need some help with this, check these blogging statistics to help you grow your blog. But of course, there’s a lot of noise on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and so on, so how do you get your voice heard? By making things interesting. If you’re going to have success with your personal branding, then you’ll have to get creative and come up with high-quality content. There’s little room for just another voice. Part of what makes people believe in people with strong personal branding is that it’s hard to fake it: if you’re at the top, then you’ll need to show it, and delivering interesting and exciting content on your social media channels is a great way to do it.
Manage Your Google Searches
When you brand yourself, you’re creating a narrative about your life. It’s not going to tell the whole story of who you are, but will show people who are interested in the professional side of your existence what they need to know. However, in order for this to work, you have to control the narrative. It’s a bit like with advertising: it wouldn’t work if people were presented with the flaws in the marketed product. In your case, the equivalent is what comes up when people search for your name on Google. It’s unlikely that it’s anything bad, but if it’s all just neutral content, then it’s not going to have much of an impact. As such, one of the best things you can do is to ensure that the first page of results for your name contains top-quality, career-boosting links. This will take time and effort, but it is worth it.
Be a Presence At Trade Events
Ultimately, you’re trying to establish yourself as one of the prominent voices in your industry, or at least in the specific area of your chosen industry. As such, in order for this to be the case, then you’ll need to be involved in your industry events. It’s really important that you’re attending and having an impact at your industry’s big trade shows and other events. It’ll be all the better if you can make a splash in one way or another, such as by delivering a speech. While you’re there, present your most confident foot forward and connect with as many people as possible. And talking of connecting with others…
Connecting With Others
There’s only so far you’ll go by yourself. Once you’re on your way towards branding yourself, you’ll want to begin connecting with others. This should, of course, be a mutually beneficial relationship — you should give as much as you receive. It’s all about identifying potential partnerships and then working to bring them to life. If you’ve branded yourself well, you’ll find that the people you contact will be eager to talk with you.
Link Yourself To Successful Brands
As much as it’s possible to present a good image of yourself in the eyes of your potential customers, ultimately there has to be some demonstration that you’re able to work well. It’s not all about style; there has to be substance there. One recommended way to do this is to promote your association with the high-quality companies that you’ve worked with in the past. People will take you much more seriously if they can see that you’ve worked with some of the world’s leading companies.
It’s recommended that you get some help when it comes to your personal branding. You’re the one making all the decisions, but you’re doing it for the public, and who knows if they see what you want them to see? From time to time, ask your friends and family members, or even outsiders, for some feedback on how you present yourself and how it comes across.
Finally, remember that your personal branding will only work if you’re consistent. It can’t be something that you dip in and out of; it has to be watertight. This is why it’s really important that you brand yourself in a true way; if you’re faking something just to get ahead, then eventually it’ll backfire: the mask will slip off at some point. Once you’ve established your values and professional worldview, stick to it. Reputations aren’t formed overnight; they’re formed through the process of repetition.