In the days where anyone can become an influencer or social media expert, it’s impossible to ignore the value of personal branding. As a young professional, an established professional, or even a small business owner, you should never underestimate the power of a strong, reputable personal brand.
With the rise of content marketing, social selling, and consumer reviews, the internet is where anyone – potential employer, potential client, potential partnership, even potential friend – is coming to get information about YOU just as much as they are coming to the internet to find a hot new restaurant to eat at.
Are you prepared to rock a Google search? Let’s talk about why you should have a personal brand, what it takes to have a good one, and how to grow it.
Why you need one
Having a strong personal brand results in a strong digital presence, as well as building you a reputation in your industry. Having a voice that people can find, read, and engage with not only grows your network and circle of influencers, but it builds you a reputation.
Someone who is a social media manager and has a strong social media following, a blog about social media, goes to social media events and shakes hands with other industry folks, is someone that has established themselves as “The Social Media Expert”. That’s their brand. They own it, they live it, and they become known for it. People want to interact with them, clients flock to them, and if they go job hunting, they set themselves apart from other candidates.
Take the time to define
Yes, you should be whoever you want to be, but if you want to be strategic about your digital image, you need to think about how you want to come across and align your goals. If you want to look like a Realtor expert, you shouldn’t be posting pictures of your cat on Mondays and your taco you ate last night.
Establish what the industry is that you want to be apart of, the people you want to emulate, the people you want to attract, and how you want to be viewed. Then, think of the kind of content that will get you there. Create a content strategy and stick to it. If you want to talk about marketing, maybe avoid retweeting the Buzzfeed article about Kardashian makeup tips.
People will take you seriously if you’re serious about your brand and what you’re passionate about. Brainstorm and have fun with it! Write lists, create goals, and make yourself a strategy that will get you excited about this new journey.
Grow your presence
Now that you’ve done all the hard work and strategy, you’re ready to grow your brand presence and become a force of whatever you’re passionate about. The first step is to get active on social media and follow other people you want to interact with. Go to meet-ups and network like crazy. Ask to speak at small events, or create your own small groups for professionals in your field.
Create a blog and write about what you’re interested in talking about to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Find other local bloggers and ask them to be a guest blogger on your blog or vice versa. It’s a great way to get some good content and get your name out there.
Speak on panels, host a Twitter live chat or join in on ones already happening in your industry, offer free advice. Anything that will get you out there interacting with people will be great for your personal brand.
A personal brand does take a lot of hard work but you’ll notice that once you start working towards your goals and building a brand, is something will reap serious benefits.
How do you think about your personal brand? What is one benefit you’ve noticed once you started focusing on your branding?