Like it or not, you are a brand which is a reflection of yourself, your skills, and your values. You control your brand which is an element of building a successful career. An enticing and intriguing personal brand facilitates interest in you, who you are, what you offer, what you value, and your reputation. Here are some tips to help you elevate your stature and sharpen your competitive edge:
1. Define Your Brand
What would people say about you? Note the values that your colleagues, family, friends, and other acquaintances would use to describe your work and you as a person. Use uplifting, authentic, and positive words.
2. Articulate Your Specialty
We are all passionate about something. What is your passion, and what makes you stand out in a crowd? Uncover and articulate your niche and why people would be compelled to choose you over your peers.
3. Write Your Marketing Collateral
Your marketing collateral consists of a resume and often, a professional bio. You can choose which of these documents to distribute to different audiences. A bio can be used at networking events, followed by a resume. Deliver quality, and make both documents easy to read, telling a compelling story of who you are.
4. Create a Website and Blog
Register your own named URL (e.g. MartinBuckland.com). Build a website. There are some free and easy-to-use tools to facilitate the design and build of a website. Write clear copy on exactly who you are, your values and your mission. Back this website up with a blog pertinent to your career goals or journaling your life. A website allows you to target a defined audience where they can gather more information on exactly who you are.
5. Build a LinkedIn Profile
A LinkedIn profile provides you with the opportunity to succinctly and powerfully portray your career, your personal skills, and your business skills. It allows you to connect with key decision makers within your geographic area and industry, and can even pinpoint down to a firm or company where you would like to work. Ensure your LinkedIn URL is customized. Remove all the letters and numbers after your name which is the default address. Make sure you use a professional photo. Complete your LinkedIn profile to the maximum. Unlike your resume, which is page limited, your LinkedIn profile is page less. Various forms of media can be attached to your LinkedIn profile to facilitate attention to your personal brand.
6. Communicate to Your Defined Audience
Today, public speaking opportunities abound if you are an authority or expert. Take advantage of these opportunities, free or paid, to speak before small, medium, or large audiences. This can boost your confidence and your brand.
7. Develop Your Social Presence
We have mentioned LinkedIn, but other strong personal profiles can be gained by having a powerful and impressive presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Regularly post updates on all these platforms to attract the attention of search engines, in particular, Google, to heighten your presence on the internet. If I type in your name in Google, what do I find? Yes, social media can be intimidating, but it is a necessity to build and solidify your brand, not just to a local, regional, or national audience, but to a global one too. You never know when someone from the other side of the world might notice you and might need your skills.
8. Network, Network, Network
Nothing negates the power of in-person networking which entitles you to meet a diverse population, some of whom may be able to generate leads, who in turn may be interested in helping you to advance your career. Be clear in articulating your personal brand, not only verbally or in written format, but also with your appearance. Introduce yourself with a smile and a firm handshake supported by appropriate apparel.
9. Be Authentic
Don’t falsify your image and give a different impression of who you are. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Embrace your strengths and show your ability to understand your personality, your skills, and your business.