It’s who you are, it’s what you represent, it’s how you are perceived online. It’s your brand! The idea of personal branding is foreign to a lot of people because it’s rarely discussed. Most people consider a “brand” to relate to business or influencer marketing. But this is different. By definition, a personal brand is “established and promoting what you stand for, and a unique combination of skills and experiences that make you, you.” In the era of social media, it’s more important than ever to put together your personal brand. It also differentiates you from other professionals in your field, so take advantage.
Ready to build your brand? Start here to ensure you are moving in the right direction.
- Clean up risky social media searches and social media posts: First things is first: Google yourself. Once you know what is associated with your name, you can take steps to remove anything undesirable. Go through your social media and remove or delete posts that might be kinda “eh.” Get rid of anything that doesn’t feel like it represents your personal brand and what you stand for.
- Define yourself: As you do your clean up, start to think about what you are trying to represent and build. Identity your values and elements that showcase you. Think about these things:
- What do you want to achieve?
- What is your vision?
- What makes you unique?
- What are your professional goals?
- Who is your audience?
- Think strategically. Once you create content, make sure to publish it in places where interested parties in your field will see it. Whether it’s creating a separate Instagram, sharing posts on Instagram or Facebook (or a site devoted to your field), just get online and share it! Don’t be afraid to reach out to leaders and professionals in your industry for sharing tips.
- Stick with a unified theme. This is a great way to position yourself as professional and consistent. Use the same colors, fonts, filters, voice, etc., so that you are remaining true to who you are.
- Be genuine. The easiest way to have an original, personal brand is to be yourself! Being genuine and authentic is the best thing you can do—it’s easy for your audience to see through a fake persona. The more you engage with your audience authentically, the easier it’ll be to manage your brand on a daily basis.
- Tell a story. This is critical. If you are not telling a story with your personal brand, you risk losing your audience. You MUST build a narrative. By creating a story, your audience has more incentive to engage. You need some kind of reason to post, otherwise you’re just posting into the void.
- Be consistent. Your brand and story are much more recognizable if you are consistently posting. It’s not like you need to stretch yourself thin to post every day, but you need to at least have a set number of days per week to share content and communicate with your audience.
- Leave a legacy. Once you have a brand with a reputation and community, try to think about the legacy you will leave behind. What do you want to be known for? Your personal brand is a lifelong commitment that evolves and changes, but ultimately represents who you are.
The Last Word
Quick and simple…you are in control of your own narrative! Don’t let it go to waste.