This week we’re talking about ‘Personal Branding’. It’s grown in importance over the last couple of years, and it’s something you should take notice of if you are hiring, job seeking, or looking to grow your presence online.
So what is it?
It’s defined as ‘The conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact’ (Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_branding)
And how do you go about it? We’ll offer some tips this week on small things that we’ve see our clients and candidates do well.
Before you embark on your personal branding journey, have a look at what you already have.
What does your LinkedIn profile say about you? What other online presence do you have that people could find?
Google yourself. What comes up?
Do you have old CVs lurking on job boards?
Have a ‘tidy up’ first and make sure your house is in order. Then you’re best placed to start to enhance it.
Once you’ve ‘tidied up’ your online presence, it’s time to start to enhance it.
Firstly think about what you’re trying to achieve. Are you hiring, building a team and want to showcase your knowledge, employer brand and team/business culture? Or are you job seeking and want to show your expertise, capability and skills?
Either of the above require some thought. And both will require you to ‘get active’ online.
Start by commenting on other’s posts – offer some value, discussion and build a network that you actually converse with (rather than just watch!)
Seen or read an article in your field? Share it and offer your point of view as curated content.
Ask others to comment and support your posts. If you comment on other’s posts, they’re much more likely to participate in a discussion that you instigate.
Stick with it. Engagement doesn’t come overnight and it takes determination to stick with it and keep posting.
Sounds really obvious, but building a personal brand is impossible unless you use your own voice.
Copying or mimicking someone else never carries weight, and anyone who knows you will see right through it. Be authentic and be you.
Some people story tell. Share a journey. What value or insight can you offer to help others by sharing your experiences?
Others are more prescriptive by sharing narrative about specific things that have happened or are happening.
What’s vital is that it’s genuine. You’ll only amplify your brand by sharing value and contributing to others. And they’ll reciprocate.
Whether you’re active on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or other social networks, you need to be consistently ‘there’ to be seen.
So, your profile looks good, you’re commenting on posts and creating and curating content.
Keep going. Go deeper. Who are the people, movements or organisations in your industry who get great engagement? Continually speak to others and provide value? They’re influencers and others will listen to them, follow them and engage with them.
So follow them too, and pick up on trends or innovations in your industry, share the content and gain influencer buy in. Tagging someone or a business in a well-constructed post grabs their attention.
It’s a hard thing to separate your personal life and feelings, and your ‘business identity’ or ‘brand’. There’s nothing wrong with sharing insight into you. People love to get to know the whole person and by sharing personal thoughts, along with business dialogue just grows your authenticity.
Growing a personal brand is a long term project, and there’s probably no end point. Before the growth of platforms, personal branding was reputation. What do you stand for, what are you know for?
That has to be brought to the table time and time again.
Want to know more? Contact us for our LinkedIn guide