The term “branding” has become synonymous with large companies & corporations over the years. However it’s worth remembering that personal branding is especially important in business, especially when it comes to career building and selling yourself to potential clients.
Many people already have characteristics which define their personal brand – even without their own cultivation. Your personal brand is all about how you appear to the world and how people perceive you in general.
Take this example for instance; Let’s say you have have a sandwich each day for lunch. One day you arrive in with a salad and your colleagues begin to look at you with puzzled reactions. Why? It’s simple, due to your routine, you have become synonymous as the sandwich guy/girl to your colleagues. This is an example of personal branding.
This is why building up a strong personal brand is a major factor in maintaining a successful career. Once your colleagues, management and influencers identify you with an area of expertise, you will find yourself in a very positive niche within your industry. Here are three steps towards building your personal brand.
This is rule number one. It’s virtually impossible to try to build a personal brand around a fake persona. Some professionals will argue that one should shape & mould their persona to suit their surroundings.
This will only lead to exhaustion in the long run while you try to keep up the false facade. Another key factor in building up your brand is trust. If people start to doubt the authenticity around how you present yourself they will soon begin to question your integrity.
Your personal brand should reflect the person that you really are. If you’re in a job where you feel confined or compelled to act a different way it may be time to reevaluate your present surroundings.
Find a niche
In order to really stand out in the crowd you must determine the areas that you are good at and begin to harness & focus your strengths on them. Build up as much expertise that you can in these areas and work on your weaknesses.
If you can grow your proficiency in a certain area and differentiate yourself from the crowd you will start to become recognised as a thought leader in that particular field. The more you expertise you possess in a specific area you are the more influential you will become.
Build a strong online presence
When building your personal brand it’s important to note that how you present yourself online is just as important as how you present yourself in person. Ask yourself this question – have you ever looked your own name up on Google search?
This is the first thing any potential employer, client or business associate will do in order to get to know more about you. With this in mind it’s crucially important to audit your online presence and improve areas where necessary.
The manner in which you manage your online presence can literally make or break your personal brand so it’s crucial to maintain a good image. Always make sure to protect your privacy & censor any photos or content that may be deemed as unprofessional.
Participate regularly in online forums & communities relevant to your industry also. This will all contribute greatly towards building up a strong online profile.
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