When you think of brand, you might think of your favorite brand of clothes, food, or even technology. However, a brand is more than that. It can be anything… a symbol, name, reputation, tone, or even an emotion.
Job seekers and other professionals can learn from “brands” because they are recognizable and separate themselves from others in their industry. As a professional in your field, you want to stand out from the rest. Giving yourself a brand to uphold allows you to stand out and gives you standards to maintain across aspects of your life.
Here’s how to get started on your personal brand.
1. Begin with your Vision
A company creates a vision and mission statement for the purpose of establishing their goals and how they want others to see them. This is the very first step to creating a personal brand as well. Start by asking yourself “Where do you see yourself in 10, 20, or 30 years from now?” Be sure to consider all facets in life (i.e. family, career, travel).
Some brands even set company values which presents a standard for all current and new employees to abide by. What are your values? Narrow down your top core values to abide by every day in every aspect of your life.
2. Audit your online presence
Now that you have a concrete vision and set values, take some time to go through your social media and online presence. Based on your vision and values, do your posts, pictures, and shared articles showcase you in the right way?
Google yourself to see what comes up. If you have a fairly common name, consider using a middle initial or middle name to separate yourself from the crowd. Make sure the name you choose is used on all of your social media platforms. If you wish to keep your social media platforms private, visit your privacy settings and make sure every post is set to private.
Once you’ve done your audit, consider creating yourself a personal website to better promote your skills and experience, like a web resume. You don’t have to be a web designer to create a website. Platforms like Wix or WordPress make it very easy.
3. Connect with Mentors/Influencers
Social media makes it very easy to connect and follow industry leaders and develop a mentorship. Take some time to research industry leaders that you admire and find them on open social media networks, like Twitter or Instagram. By following them, you can learn how they became successful in the industry and maybe even develop a relationship by commenting on their content. For the mentors that you have an established relationship with, connect with them on Linkedin to keep up with them and they can help endorse your brand.
4. Maintain your brand
Make sure everything you do or say online, in an interview, at work, or even in your personal life matches your personal brand. Be purposeful in everything you do.
5. Be yourself because everyone else is taken
Most importantly, always be yourself. This brand should demonstrate who you are as a person. You can reinvent yourself and improve upon your flaws, but don’t pretend to be someone you are not.