4 Tips for Building a Strong Personal Brand
In today’s rapidly changing economy, it’s important to have a personal brand that articulates who you are and where you’re going. It’s a competitive world out there, so there’s never been a more important time to build your own personal brand to set yourself apart from the crowd. Having a strong brand can result in a higher perceived value of you and your work. It also enhances your credibility and assists you to develop a positive public image. This is great if you’re seeking a promotion or leadership opportunity, or if you’re simply looking to advance your career or business. Here are four tips for building a stronger personal brand.
1. Think deeply about who you are and who you want to be
What are your goals and your values? Who do you want to work with and what businesses or people do you want to attract? Think about your own key attributes, the characteristics that make you unique and your specific talents. Then use these as a basis to build your brand. Most of all, be authentic.
2. Develop your key messages
Once you have identified your strengths and unique characteristics, start crafting the key messages that you want to send out to the world. Key messages are the core ideas, points and values you want to communicate to your desired target audience. In a marketing sense, clarity around key messages and drivers is important because this ensures consistency across all communications. As part of the personal branding process, it’s also useful to create an elevator statement that encapsulates who you are and what you do in less than 30 seconds. Brief and succinct elevator statements are most effective and they allow you to communicate a consistent message to people you connect with.
3. Do a virtual PR audit
Now you’ve got your key messages sorted, it’s time to do a virtual PR audit. First step – Google yourself and see what comes up in search results. Are you portraying a positive and professional image? Or is the first image you see your Facebook profile pic from a night out? In today’s wonderful world of connectedness, you need to consider all of your social media profiles as part of your own personal brand. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are great tools that can be very useful for personal and business networking, but if you want a positive and professional personal brand, you need to ensure your social media profiles are all in alignment with the image you wish to portray.
LinkedIn is a very effective tool for personal branding and professional networking, so if your profile is not up to date and reflective of your professional self, address this immediately. Be authentic, avoid clichs and build brand associations. Familiarise yourself with LinkedIn’s publishing platform – this will be an important tool if you find you are ready to delve into thought leadership.
4. Look for opportunities
Refining your own personal brand can assist you to further your career and identify professional opportunities that you otherwise might not find. A strong brand will enable you to speak confidently about your ideas and objectives in a very powerful and consistent way. This attracts the right kind of opportunities that you want to come your way. Once you have refined your personal brand, look for opportunities to market yourself; from business networking events, social media, guest blogging or published articles, there are dozens of ways to do this. Positioning yourself as an expert in your field can reap great rewards, and there is no better way to stand out from the pack than having a strong and positive personal brand behind you.
What do you think?
Have you built a personal brand that has opened up opportunities for you? What benefits have you experienced and what challenges did you face? Comment below to join the conversation.
This article was written by Ellenor Day-Lutz on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB.