All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.
– Tom Peters in Fast Company
Aid in the development of your own successful career by cultivating your personal brand. Basically, your personal brand is your professional reputation. It is the version of yourself that the world sees. Your personal brand illustrates your skills and talents. Furthermore, it shows organizations and hiring managers glimpses of your personality and work style. Tie your personal brand together and promote it in a variety of ways. Here are seven tips to develop your personal brand, bring all of its elements together, and make it appealing:
1. Social Media Platforms
Create an account on all major social media platforms. LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter are the most popular. Facebook and other options may be applicable, depending on what you do. Importantly, remain consistent in your voice and persona across all platforms. Also remain consistent in the skill set you present across platforms. If you say you’re a UX expert on LinkedIn, also mention it somewhere on Twitter.
2. Professional Picture
Use a professional picture for your online profiles. Inexpensive headshots are taken at local department stores, camera shops, and photographer studios. Make this small investment to boost your personal brand. With this in mind, you can also post informal snapshots. A healthy balance between the two will polish your online presence. Also, when possible, include pictures of yourself on the job or in professional settings. This demonstrates enthusiasm and shows that you are career-minded.
3. Business Etiquette
Don’t be offensive or unprofessional online. Avoid expletives, inappropriate pictures, and strong opinions on controversial subjects. These don’t offer opportunities for career promotion. Generally, hiring managers look for professional, responsible people who can collaborate productively with all coworkers.
4. Be Active and Engage
Importantly, remain active on all of your social media platforms. Engage with content regularly. Like, comment, share, and interact with others in your target industry. Build your network and show your passion for the field by being an active member of it. For more information about platforms, etiquette, and activity, see our post about using social media.
In addition to being active, network with others. Ask for endorsements and recommendations on LinkedIn. Reach out to present and former bosses, supervisors, and colleagues. Ask these people to help you. Strengthen your personal brand by displaying others’ testimonies to your skills and work ethic on LinkedIn. Also, this helps you get noticed by the right people in your field. See our post about building and leveraging your LinkedIn network.
6. Use Keywords
Use keywords in your LinkedIn profile and professional Facebook and Twitter accounts. Include as many search engine-friendly terms that apply to your skill set and experience. Use these terms multiple times. If you are a paid media specialist, include that phrase and any related terms at least once in each of your online profiles. Also, include these terms in the content you post. Additionally, include relevant hashtags. Hiring managers perform keyword searches on networking platforms and through search engines. When they do, ensure that your profile appears on their screen.
7. Professional Website
Consider setting up your own professional website. Include a blog, a list of your achievements, and an online portfolio. Particularly, those in creative fields benefit from setting up their own websites. The same rules apply as to social media platforms. Consequently, the website should look professional and use relevant keywords. Above all, show that you are serious professional who takes initiative and has a lot of pride in oneself. Finally, link your own personal website to your LinkedIn profile and print it on your business cards.
Build your career by developing and maintaining a carefully curated personal brand. For more information about the above tips, see our posts about using social media, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, and building and leveraging your LinkedIn network.