Whether you are building a business, working for a company, or just trying to advance your career, your ability to create and effectively communicate your personal brand is likely to be a major determinant in your success.
After all, we live in a time where online reputation is everything, and first impressions are made long before you ever meet someone in person.
The importance of personal branding
If you want to be successful, you need to make sure your personal brand is strong, consistent, and authentic so that you can build trust and credibility, and attract the right opportunities.
To put this into perspective, a study by Monster found that 21% of employers would not even consider hiring a candidate if they do not have a social presence – but why is that?
Well, if you don’t take care of your digital footprint, you’re essentially shooting yourself in the foot as it looks like you either have something to hide or nothing to show – both of which are less than ideal.
In light of this, we’ve put together five essential tips to help you grow your personal brand so you can stay ahead of the curve and achieve success.
Establish your personal brand’s values
First things first, you need to determine what you want to be known for, either as a person or as a professional. Ask yourself, what are your core values? What do you believe in? Once you have answers to these questions, you can start to build a personal brand that is authentic and true to you.
Your values will also help you determine what kind of content you should be creating and sharing, as well as who you should be connecting with. For example, if one of your values is environmental sustainability, you might want to share content related to green living and connect with like-minded individuals on social media.
On the other hand, if you value creativity, you might share your artwork or writing on social media, or connect with other creatives in online communities.
Above all, ensure that your brand values are:
- Consistent – Your values should remain the same over time so that people can trust and rely on you.
- Memorable – You want people to remember your personal brand so that they can recommend you to others.
- Differentiated – There needs to be a reason why people should choose you over someone else with a similar personal brand.
- Genuine – Your personal brand should be an accurate reflection of who you are as a person (don’t try to be someone you’re not).
Create a professional email signature
Your email signature is an often-overlooked opportunity to promote your personal brand. After all, every time you send an email, your email signature appears right there at the bottom – so why not make it work for you?
Here are a few tips to create a professional email signature that will help promote your personal brand:
- Include your name, job title, and contact information (phone number, email address, website, social media handles, etc.)
- Make sure it is easy to read and understand
- Use a professional headshot or logo
- Keep it concise – less is more
- Include social proof – testimonials, media mentions, awards, etc.
Use social media to your advantage
Social media is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal when it comes to growing your personal brand. It allows you to share your story, connect with like-minded individuals, and build a following of people who are interested in what you have to say.
These days, there are many social media platforms to choose from, and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which ones are right for you. The best way to approach this is to start with one or two platforms that you are most comfortable with, and then branch out from there.
For example, if you’re a visual person, or if you are involved in creative industries, you might want to focus on Instagram and Pinterest. If you like to write, Twitter and LinkedIn may be better suited for you.
The important thing is to find the social media platform (or platforms) that work best for you, and then use them regularly to share your story and connect with others.
Build a personal website or blog
Having a personal website or blog is a great way to control the narrative around your personal brand. It allows you to share your story on your own terms, and it gives you a platform to showcase your work, connect with others, and build a following.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are many blogging platforms (such as WordPress and Medium) that make it easy to create a professional-looking website or blog.
Once you have a website or blog up and running, be sure to promote it on your social media channels, as well as in your email signature. You can also reach out to other bloggers and websites in your niche and offer to guest post or collaborate in some way.
Consider starting a YouTube channel
Over one billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every day. If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, that’s a whole lot of people you could be reaching and connecting with.
Like with social media and blogging, starting a YouTube channel allows you to share your story on your own terms. You can use it to showcase your work, give people a behind-the-scenes look at what you do, or just share your thoughts and experiences with the world.
Most important, YouTube gives you a great opportunity to let your true personality shine through. By putting a face to the name (or brand), you will be more relatable and likable to others, which can only help to grow your personal brand.
In our hyper-competitive world, building a personal brand can give you a major advantage. It can help you attract more clients, make more money, and even find your dream job.
Of course, growing your personal brand takes time and effort. But if you’re willing to put in the work, the rewards are well worth it. Just remember to be authentic, consistent, and patient, and you will be on your way to success.