Whether you’re finding a new job, going for a promotion or want to further your career in some other way, it’s vital to have a personal brand in today’s competitive world of work. “Personal brand” is a buzz phrase we hear a lot but many of us may not know where to start when it comes to actually building a personal brand of our own. Here are a few ways you can turn yourself into a personal branding pro and create a brand that will benefit your professional career. Check out our downloadable 125 Personal branding tips for more tips and ideas on this.
We all know that to objectify someone means to think of them as an object. To build yourself a brand you need to think of yourself as a product – “productify” yourself. The whole point of creating a brand is to make it easier to sell and market yourself to employers, recruiters and other people of influence. Companies create brands as part of the process of convincing people to buy their products so ask yourself if you’d buy yourself if you were a product. Just as you evaluate a product by looking at the advantages of owning it and whether it’s value for money, ask yourself how an employer would be benefitted by hiring or promoting you and whether you provide value for the amount of money you’re paid.
Use Famous Brands as Role Models
Identify brands you think are great and look at what you can borrow from those brands to integrate into your own brand. Your personal brand should of course be unique and original just like you, but taking tips from companies or individuals who’ve already established famous brands can give you inspiration and confidence in the early days of building your own brand. Perhaps there’s a political leader who, as a personal branding technique, uses a social media platform that you’re not familiar with but are willing to try out to see if it’ll add anything to your brand. Maybe a company that encourages its employees to wear a certain colour in order to support the consistency of its brand has inspired you to base your wardrobe around a few key colours you want to be associated with your brand.
Choose Platforms to Use
You need to decide which platforms you’re going to use to get your personal brand out there. More and more people are using online platforms, especially social networking sites, as personal branding tools. It’s always a good idea to have a LinkedIn profile but you can also choose to promote your brand on sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on. All the traditional, offline ways of propagating your brand still work just as well – make yourself visible at face-to-face networking events, offer to be a speaker at a conference or organise and facilitate a workshop.
Identify Your USP
What’s your USP – Unique Selling Point? Think about what you can offer employers that no one else can. Whatever it is that makes you different from everyone else who’s going for that job, up for that promotion or on that social networking site, make it a major component of your personal brand. If you use Twitter as a platform and you have a unique talent for concisely expressing and explaining complicated ideas and theories in writing, turn your best thoughts into tweets in order to demonstrate to your followers that you have a knack for communicating sophisticated thinking to an audience in 140 characters or less.
Create an Elevator Pitch
An elevator pitch is like an oral distillation of your personal brand, a mini-speech that you can deliver to anyone in a matter of seconds or minutes in order to explain who you are, what you do and what you want to do. When creating your pitch, be concise and avoid jargon. If you choose to add a personal statement to your CV, think of it as a written elevator pitch and write it accordingly.