Personal branding is defined as people marketing activities to create a recognisable professional name and reputation. A brand is a symbol, an image, a name that associates it to an emotion in our brain that separates it from the rest of the competitors. Let’s thing about a company logo, almost all of us are able to recognise several company logos and when we see them we not only remember the company name but we associate it to some positive and/or negative values. Trough this image companies create add value and try to improve their image in customers’ mind.
The term branding has long been relegated to companies, but today every individual has a personal brand even if not many of us have consciously cultivated it, but it exists nonetheless. All of us has footprint in the web, the question is why and how we cultivate it. In a new competitive market all of us need to think about us as a brand. A positive image in the web can help to improve your career, your professional reputation, recognition, increase sales, etc… however a negative image could ruin your career and reputation.
It’s your choice to cultivate and develop your brand or to let it be defined on your behalf.
Here you’ll find a nine tips to create and improve your personal brand:
- Who you are and what makes you different. Your personal view about how you see yourself in 10, 20 years. What are your dreams, things that would make you happy, ( a big family, a challenging job, a recognized professional, etc…). How do you want to be perceived by the others? How is your ideal world and your values? What are your passions? What make you different? Who inspires you and why?
- Where do you want to go and how do you to arrive. Based on your job and personal achievements you can determine how do you want your life to be in the future. What made you happy in the past? How do you see your career at the end? What are the steps to arrive to this job? Try to create a career path that could bring you to your dream job.
- Start Thinking about you as a brand. What do you wish to be associated with you when people think about your name? Audit your web online presence. What’s the current status? Is it coherent with values, vision and achievements that you have? Is it your presence consistent? Is it creative and purposeful enough? Are you credible? Are you memorable? Do you have a personal website with professional pictures? Do you have strong connections linked to your profile in the web? What are your mentors?
- Tell your story. Most part of celebrities and social network influencers have in common a clear story about their lives, their professional career and their future vision.
- . Think about your customers and how help them. Your potential customers and your supporters. When you think about “customers” you have to think about people that will bring you money, your customers, your future targeted companies, your future bosses, etc… but also people that can influence your “customers”. What are their professional motivations? and personal motivations? How can you help them to reach their goals? If you understand your targets, their motivations and how you can help them then make a plan to get in contact with them.
- Use social media as your main tool. Your professional webpage should be your main tool to drive your personal brand but you should also work with other social network as Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc… Inside you can create a blog, post free high-value information and get spread it with your social network. Consider making videos to make growth your personal brand, a youtube channel, is a very interesting way to improve your visibility. Once you have a page, increase your traffic, your followers and marketing you is the next step.
- Build connections. To build connections, try to find people looking for connections, events, forums, professional and academic groups, associations, guest blogging, event webinars and online advertising. Find a mentor in the industry could be a good connection point to develop your networking (College, organisations, professional network, social network,… are some possibilities to find a mentor).
- Monitor your brand and be careful with haters. There are several tools to monitor your brand like Hootsuite.com or talkwalker.com that allows to follow and keep online reputation. One special topic is haters, normally silence and ignoring them is the best solution, negative reply and sarcastic answers could be risky in terms of marketing brand.
- Be yourself. Don’t be anybody else. Be unique, be real and interact as you are.Inigo Mayoral , owner du site www.insbuildrive.com, free business management and career advice tools.