Have you ever thought about your personal brand? If not, you’re in the right place! I’m going to explore what a personal brand is, and provide some tools and tips to get you started on building yours.
The concept of a brand is something that you’re probably familiar with. The shoes you’re wearing, the store that you bought your latte from this morning, and the smartphone or computer that you’re reading this post on probably all have brands associated with them.
Although brands themselves are unique, the overarching concept of a brand means they all have something in common. A brand makes a product greater than its tangible attributes. Brands stand for something. And by standing for different things, brands differentiate one product from another in the minds of consumers.
So, what is a personal brand? Your personal brand is the image or impression that you can establish about yourself in the minds of others. In the professional domain, this includes colleagues, contacts in your network, your employer or potential employers.
By positioning yourself with a consistent brand, you can help others easily identify what makes you stand out, and what you’re the go-to expert on.
How do you determine your personal brand? Is this all new to you? If so, I got you. I’ve found a few awesome resources to help get you started.
- PwC has a built robust workbook that you can use to determine your strengths, understand your values, highlight your passions and define what drives you. Doing the legwork will ensure that your personal brand will reflect who you truly are – both inside and outside of the workplace. Think of the time spent on this as an investment in your future self!
- Entrepreneur provides tips on personal branding as well. They suggest that being authentic and visible, knowing your industry and giving back are among the essentials for sustaining a healthy personal brand.
How to live your brand. Once you define and refine your brand, bring your vision to reality. Fast Company suggests walking the walk (rather than just talking the talk) so that you can leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Increasing the visibility of your brand can boost its validity, making you more marketable as a professional.
Fast Company recommends the following activities to increase your expertise and to build your reputation as a thought leader:
- Teach a course at a community college
- Join a panel discussion or conduct a presentation at a conference
- Highlight your expertise using a consistent voice through your social media profiles on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn
What other tips to you have for building your personal brand? Share in the comments.