The adage ‘It’s not what you know but who you know’ isn’t exactly true – it’s more about who knows you and how they see you. It’s not only professional accolades that help professionals progress in their careers, but who they are as people as well.
Just as a company works to promote its business to clients, customers, candidates and employees, to stand out from competitors, individuals can also market themselves to employers and other professional contacts in their network. Your experience, expertise, values, personality and everything that makes you unique can contribute to your personal brand.
How to build your personal brand
Here are some tips to help get you started and keep up the momentum:
1. Define your target audience
Knowing who you want to reach with your personal brand is essential for success. Research your target audience and consider what kind of content, tone and style of communication will resonate with them.
2. Set yourself apart
Your brand must be an honest representation of yourself if you are to highlight your unique skills and traits. Think about the qualities and experiences you can use to set yourself apart and emphasise how you’re different from others.
3. Create a compelling message
What values do you stand for as a person? Creating a tagline or mission statement is a great way to articulate your personal brand in a concise, memorable way. Your message should be one of positivity and optimism.
4. Build an online presence
Social media is essential for building an online presence. Choose the platforms that make the most sense for your target audience and start creating content around your personal brand. You might decide to build your own website as well – some use this as a way of showcasing their portfolio of previous work and their ‘about me’ page.
5. Be a thought leader
Sharing your knowledge with others adds value to your social media profiles and people will recognise you as an authoritative voice on a subject and a trustworthy source of information.
6. Be approachable
While you want to show your professionalism, you don’t want to overdo it by using jargon or words that most people wouldn’t use in everyday conversation. Using language that shows you’re a person and not a corporate robot will help others identify with you.
7. Be consistent
In order to ensure your brand is successful, you need to be consistent. Keep your message and branding consistent across all your platforms and maintain an active presence. This shows your authenticity and builds trust in your audience.
8. Keep up with trends
To ensure your brand stays relevant and cutting-edge, you must be up to date with trends and know what people are interested in now. Stay abreast of industry news, what your competition is doing and check in regularly with your contacts.
9. Monitor your progress
Set goals, track your progress and measure the success of your efforts. Use analytics tools to analyse the data and adjust your tactics accordingly. Everything you do must be intentional and have a purpose.
Networking is essential to building a successful personal brand. Develop meaningful relationships with your peers in the industry and look for opportunities to collaborate.
11. Take constructive criticism
Most people will shy away from criticism they don’t want to hear, but it’s useful for improving your personal brand and adjusting your strategy. Listening to your audience is another way to connect with them and keep learning.
Building a strong personal brand takes some work, but it’s worth it in the end, allowing you to unlock new opportunities and set yourself up for success.
To find your next opportunity, or the perfect professional to join your team, contact your nearest Reed office.