It is now five years since you landed your dream job. Of course, your family and friends envy your outwardly “successful” career, but to you it has become another 9–5 job with a cushy salary, the occasional business trip, and a bland job title. You want to do something that makes you jump out of bed every morning, a more interesting, unconventional career only that you do not know how to do it.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding requires that you begin treating and thinking about yourself as a brand. It not only creates a strong image of an individual but also gives you an edge to stand out in the marketplace. Most people focus more on selling what they can do but, personal branding allows your recruiters define they are dealing with or hiring even without meeting the person.
Most people focus more on selling what they can do but, personal branding allows your recruiters define they are dealing with or hiring even without meeting the person.
Sadly, plenty of folks think personal branding applies to those working in creative industries and executive-level job searches, yet it is not the case. A recent study showed that most recruiters used search engines and social media platforms like LinkedIn to research potential job candidates. Put simply, personal branding adds depth and colour to your profile. So how do you create a powerful personal brand?
How to create a powerful personal brand:
- Determine your unique selling point: You first need to understand who you are and what attracts your target audience. Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify your unique proposition.
- Identify your purpose and target audience: answers the question why you need to brand yourself and the audience you need to appeal to.
- Start a blog: personal branding helps people view you as the ‘go-to’ person. As such creating a personal blog allows you to share your experience, knowledge, and thoughts. People get to know you are not oblivious of what you are talking about.
- Create a digital profile: we live in a digital age hence the need to establish a profile in sync with the times. However, it also depends on what you need the personal brand to do for you. LinkedIn, for example, helps you develop a professional profile. If looking to build a reputation for your thoughts and opinion online, then Twitter, Facebook live video, and YouTube are great platforms for this.
- Find out how other people view you: how do your colleagues, clients, manager, and friends perceive you? How would they describe you to a friend? Note that this is a critical part since your personal brand has to match how others see you; if it doesn’t you better get to work.
- Attend industry events: here you get to network with people from diverse professional backgrounds and bigwigs, in particular, industries. If you are looking to soar higher in your career, this is the place to be.
- Consistently engage with social media: this way you not only get to know what your target audience wants but also interact with them on a more personal level.
So why your personal brand is so important?
In today’s modern world, setting yourself apart (and showcasing your unique “value proposition”) can open doors — from job opportunities to brand partnerships, paid speaking opportunities to important social connections. Simply having a degree or the relevant experience isn’t enough. Companies focus has shifted from a skills checklist to a value checklist. Don’t just tell us what you can do, show us what you’re passionate about. Show us what you love. Show us what you bring to our team and our clients. Personal branding showcases that story.