As much as branding is important for any company so too should your personal brand, here are seven ways to develop and grow it
There are certain perceptions you might have of different companies, thanks to how they brand themselves and influence how you, the public and their customers perceive them. As such, whether you admit it or not people do have perceptions about you, and it usually stems from how you present yourself. With that said, a personal brand is who you are as an individual, what you stand for, how you relate to others and the values you hold. Your personal brand infiltrates into every aspect of your life, especially your career. If you want to stand out from the rest when it comes to your career, building credibility and a great reputation in your field is important, you can do that by becoming an expert by honing your skills and offering them to other people. The best way to do that is building or using your existing platforms such as your social media handles, or even creating a website or blog, to showcase your brand and skills. Importantly, it is important to develop and sustain good relationships with industry colleagues who can also recommend you should opportunities arise. With this said here are seven ways to develop and grow your personal brand:
Do some introspection: figure out who you are as a person, the values you stand for, your personality, your strengths and weaknesses you would like to work on. Also, write down things you are passionate about as well as things that motivate you. The other best way to get a glimpse of yourself is through the lens of your loved ones, ask your closest friends and family the qualities you have that make you stand out.
What do you want others to know you for? While we can’t force people to feel certain ways about us, we can, however, put our best foot forward because let’s face it, whether we like Beyoncé or not, we can’t help but notice that her success comes from her talent, passion for her industry and projects and hard work, which speaks for itself. As such add passion, professionalism, hard work and humility to what you are good at, people certainly cannot ignore that.
Do your homework: we all know that we are the company we keep. Surround yourself with people who motivate and push you to be a better version of yourself. Also, keep up with the trends in your industry by doing some research and following experts in your field on social media or other platforms they use. Why not stretch it a bit by connecting with them on LinkedIn or asking to have one-one-one conversations with them, you (as I always am) might be surprised at how approachable and generous they are with their time.
Network. Network. Network: many business and career opportunities occur through references and recommendations, and what better way to get them than by networking? Covid-19 has halted many face-to-face industry events, but be on the lookout for virtual ones and make networking one of your biggest projects to grow your professional circle.
Make use of social media: Be strategic in how you present yourself online. The things you say online or allow yourself to be tagged in can have negative repercussions for your career growth and personal brand. Rather use your social media account as an extended CV or a platform to share your skills. You can also create a website or niche blog page as well to present your ideas. Publications are always looking for content, why not offer your expert tips to journalists for certain topics? This will sure elevate your profile.
Ask for help: no man is an island and we all need help at some point in our lives, especially in our careers. Reach out to your managers, colleagues, mentors or industry contacts to give you professional feedback where needed and use that to improve yourself.
Review and reinvent your personal brand: this step is important as it helps you evaluate where you are versus the goals you had set for yourself. Progress, no matter how small, is better than perfection so start setting SMART goals that you can tick off your professional box every three, six or 12 months.