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How to Create Your Personal Brand

Thu, 05/29/2014 - 9:19am | by Jeska

 

Creating a personal brand is a wise first step in building a career path that will be both enjoyable and a good fit for your interests, skills and personality. The concept behind building a personal brand is simple: When you know what makes you tick, what personality type you have, what you are passionate about, what you are good at, where you want to be in the workforce and what you have to offer, you can communicate these things to others as well, including prospective employers. Creating a personal brand is really about self-discovery and market positioning. Many of today’s top CEOs and leaders began their careers by creating and promoting their most important product — themselves.

Choose a Word That Defines “You”

If you can describe yourself in five words or less, you are off to a good start. From here, if you can refine your description down to one or two words that clearly communicate what you are about professionally, you have the foundation of a successful personal brand. For instance, if you have earned your organizational leadership Texasdegree, you may want to reference this background in your brand slogan. Here are some additional aspects to consider when choosing the word or phrase to describe you:

·         What are your strongest aptitudes and skills?

·         How would your best friend, spouse, parent or boss describe you?

·         When you meet someone new, what do you want that person to notice about you?

·         What classes did you excel in at school?

·         What do you envision yourself doing in your dream job?

·         What kind of people do you want to work with and what qualities do you hope they have?

By answering these questions, you can get a better sense of where to place yourself in terms of “marketing” yourself to employers and colleagues.

Putting the Brand Package Together

Creating and promoting your personal brand is no different than launching any other product. You need a variety of support materials and avenues to market your brand, and spread the word. Here are some elements you should incorporate in disseminating your brand to those who can help you advance toward your goals.

·         Business cards.Use your business cards to share your brand or “slogan” with others you meet.

·         Resume.Promote your personal brand on your resume. A good place to do this is at the top, underneath your name and contact information. You can use the “summary” section for this purpose or add your slogan or catchphrase beneath the contact information.

·         Social media.Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites that are targeted toward your industry can be a great way to promote who you are and what you do (in short, your personal brand).

·         A website.Create a website to share your ideas and accomplishments. Many jobseekers are moving towards Web and video-based technology to promote their skills and talents. As well, you can cross-promote with other complementary individuals and businesses from your website, write a blog to gain followers, start a monthly newsletter and moderate your social media presence. A website is also a useful clearinghouse to monitor how your brand is received and shared in your online network.

Monitoring Your Brand

Monitoring your brand consists of regularly checking in with your blog, social media accounts, website(s) and social contacts to view what others are saying about you and your work, and to share ideas with influential connections.

Developing your personal brand may not be a fast or easy process, but successful leaders report it is worth the investment. Once you have a firm focus through your personal brand, it becomes easier to identify the individuals and opportunities that can move you closer to your career goals.

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