3 must follow steps to improve your Personal Brand
Personal Brand is critical
Now, more than ever, your personal brand (don’t understand what Personal Branding is check out another one of my posts) is critical to how you view yourself and how others see you. In the digital era of on-line media platforms (Instagram, Facebook etc), forums, blogs, smart phones and so on it is critical you manage/craft your on-line presence to ensure that it fits with your personal brand and how you wish to be seen by the world, your friends, colleagues or even potential employers. According to Thomas Smale in his article, 5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand he states that “Your personal brand is how you appear to the world” and Seth Godin in his article, Personal branding: The good, the bad and the undeniable states that, “A personal brand is rapidly becoming an essential ingredient to a successful 21st Century career”.
In many cases, particularly for Millennials will already have some sort of personal branding out in the world as they would have been using Facebook or YouTube since their teens. At the time of using, they will not have thought about the future impact of their current on-line presence and how it can be searched for or viewed by employers/partners. So unless you had a personal branding plan at an early age, it is not really about creating but more crafting or managing that brand because in most cases, you already exist on-line. So what to do next to develop and positively grow your own personal brand?
Who do you want to be? Above all, be authentic
Start off by deciding what you want people to think of when they think of you? It’s all about what you believe in, your values and authenticity (because people can often spot a fake). You need to make sure you know who you are and what you stand for before sharing it all with the world with abandon because you are opening yourself up and so are vulnerable. For me, it’s all about giving back and sharing experiences while focusing in on whilst helping others, at work I want to be known as being fair and person who always delivers. This statement really resonates with me “Wisdom is wasted if you don’t share it for the benefit of others”.
Be consistent and stay relevant
Whatever medium you are using to showcase your personal brand, be it your CV, LinkedIn profile, twitter account or at events you attend, be consistent in what you stand for across all platforms and always be genuine. It also takes time to build up a personal brand so to remain relevant you must stay up to date with the latest trends and changes as well as creating a steady supply of articles or blogs. If you can’t do that at least make comments on recent articles on industry sites such as Medium.com or LinkedIn. To keep an eye on how your personal brand is going keep “googling” yourself to see how you are coming across and, if necessary, tweak certain aspects of what you’re doing.
Cultivate your on-line presence
To help you create your desired on-line presence you may want look at writing thought leadership articles on LinkedIn or for industry specific publications, as well as blogging, participating in webinars or interviews. Before starting to manage your on-line presence try running a “Google” search on yourself to see what is already out there. You can be sure any potential employer/partner will do the same and this will give you a starting point from which to make any changes. To start developing my on-line presence I decided that I would create my own blog/web presence, instead of always writing for others. I wanted to create my own intellectual property alongside developing my own personal brand and controlling my own content. So livingthetech.com was born and reflected what I wanted to be known for, a raison d’être as it were. I am now blogging about Digital topics and IT careers, as well as sharing information on the IT industry and general views on going Digital and Digital Transformation. It was also important to me that I was able to publish guidance/advice on IT careers as well as personal experiences of moving to New Zealand and sharing the lessons I learnt trying to establish myself in the IT industry.
Above all I believe it is important to be genuine and true to yourself. You may be able to create an awesome and engaging digital persona but relying solely on this outward focusing image of yourself without substance is not a great way to build a sustainable personal brand. You are more than your on-line image and digital persona. You are real person with characteristics that make you you, such as integrity and authenticity where both your digital persona and personal characteristics mesh to create your personal brand. And a well-crafted personal brand brings your CV to life.
How have you managed to build your Personal Brand?