It’s no news that with the Internet and Social Media (most of) our lives have now become transparent. While transparency isn’t necessarily a negative thing, it is something to be aware of. Social Media is just another way to interact with people. These interactions, combined with those that occur offline, build an image of who you are over time. In an effort to manage that image, we filter what we post online and think twice before speaking. Why not take it one step further and control all of those impressions and manage your image like a PR professional?
Think of the phrase “personal brand” like PR for yourself. Companies hire PR firms to manage their reputation and public image. PR can do the same for you. Personal brands can be boiled down to “the way you represent yourself to other.” This includes tone of voice, level of professionalism, appearance, and even knowledge of your profession. Building a personal brand is about showcasing who you are and emphasizing what you want to be known for. While this concept can be pretty broad, I have outlined steps below to get you started on building a personal brand.
Social Media. Social Media is the easiest way for people to connect, therefore you want your social media to reflect your values, thoughts and personality. If someone were to connect with you on a platform, and then meet you in real life, you want them to feel no difference between your online persona and your physical being. The details of your online profiles should be consistent with your personal brand standards, but also be consistent across all platforms.
Develop an Area of Expertise. Determining an area of expertise can be difficult. Sometimes it’s not necessarily job related, but instead it is hobby related. Become an expert in this area. There is always more to learn about a topic, so take the opportunity to do so. Once you have become well versed in it, you can start to write and publish pieces. These pieces will add to your online portfolio, and therefore strengthen your image while positioning you as a “trusted source.”
Network. Whether it’s online or in the real world, networking is the act of making a connection. Networking allows you to get your name out there in the same way that a newspaper might help a company expose their talents. Use networking as an opportunity to connect with others on a greater scale, find common ground, and make a lasting impression. Networking can be done online via LinkedIn, or in person at professional networking or charity events, or even in the elevator leaving your office building. Networking can help you expand your circle and meet new individuals that have the potential to help you reach your goals.
A personal brand continually evolves. It is important to dedicate time to developing a plan and to stay consistent with your efforts, and while a personal brand doesn’t come to fruition overnight, following the steps I have outlined will put you in a great position to eventually reap the benefits.
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This post was written by Maven Communications