Personal branding is a conscious and strategic effort aimed at communicating and presenting your value to the world. Personal Branding is also the practice of marketing people and their careers as brands.
The invention of LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, has simplified self-promotion, people across the globe are more connected – sharing common life experiences and seeking to gain new perspectives.
The reach social media offers is broader, which brings greater visibility to what you do compared to newspapers and television.
What is your Personal Brand?
A personal brand is the total package of unique skills, experience, and personality you want the world to see. It is the image people see before initiating contact with you.
Conventional perceptions of brands are linked to companies like Microsoft or Tesla. However, with the popularity of social media where a person can go viral of a one minute video, an individual can be a brand.
Personal branding is the storytelling/promotion of your personal brand, although maintaining a good presence online might be burdensome for some people, not taking care of this could cost you opportunities.
For a job seeker, your digital footprint can either make or mar your brand – think of making a good first impression on a recruiter.
You really don’t want to be this guy.
Recruiters do background checks on candidates, they can do this via a simple google search, or a screening of your tweets.
When applying for jobs your personal branding could start from something as small as your email address. Good email practices require having an email that starts with your first name or last name or a combination of both. e.g [email protected], [email protected]
Why Does Personal Branding Matter
At every stage of your career, whether you are applying to the university, entry-level, or C-level jobs people are watching (googling) from a distance. Having a strong brand stands you out from the crowd, and have recruiters going like this.
Some interesting insights from CareerBuilder show:
- More than half of employers won’t hire potential candidates without some sort of online presence today
- Over half of consumers have chosen to do business with a freelancer or company because of a strong, positive online presence
- If you aren’t properly managing your online reputation, then you are actively losing out on business
Knowing the implications of lacking a strong personal brand, it is important to build one and find ways to properly leverage it.
How To Build & Leverage Your Personal Brand for Opportunities
The main goal of personal branding is to ensure you’re positioned properly for opportunities.
A strong personal brand can help you get
- New partnerships
- Speaking engagements
Before you start gaining visibility, here are things to do:
- Do a Google search for yourself: What records does the internet have about you?
- Google Alerts: Set up google alerts on your name to have your presence monitored
- Online cleanup: Use tools like Deseat.me to examine your online presence and eliminate everything that could damage your chances with potential employers
- Structure your job hunt: Set google alerts on companies you’re interested in, you will spot job opportunities when they’re posted, also it keeps you informed of their activities – this can come handy during interviews
- Publish Content: Publish original & informative content and share on platforms where your likely recruiters are present. The purpose is to market yourself as relevant, skilled, and informed
Ways To Ensure Visibility For Your Personal Brand
Visibility is key to branding, all efforts towards maintaining a strong personal brand will only bring rewards when it is visible.
To ensure visibility, publishing original content helps to set you apart and create an image of a candidate who is resourceful and can be a great addition to the team.
If you are interested in Branding & Photography, post interesting & educational content on Instagram and Pinterest.
Your benefit is the difference you would make to the company hiring you and the value you would add to them. Your resume, LinkedIn, and personal branding footprints are your opportunity to sell these benefits.
If you like career, business, and workplace activities, publish content on LinkedIn.
Next Steps On Personal Branding
To stand out in today’s competitive job market, a strong personal brand is a necessity. You can start building this yourself by making little changes along the way on your social media in addition to having your resume rewritten and LinkedIn optimized by professionals at Deversity Consults.
The steps in this blog have shown what is a personal brand, how to leverage it, and ensure visibility.
How have you handled building your personal brand? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.