According to Dan Schawbel, personal branding guru and author of Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success, “personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others.”
Building a personal brand can help you advance your career and personal development. Here are seven tips to help you begin defining your personal brand:
Create a Plan
- Establish your goals/objectives (What do you want to be known for?)
- Know your audience (Who should know about you?)
- What are your tactics (How are you going to communicate with your audience/share your brand with your audience?)
- Evaluate your outcomes (Job leads? Increased business/exposure?)
- Write a list of your strengths and qualities (fun, happy, energetic, etc.)
- Ask yourself the following questions: “What distinguishes me from the crowd?” and “What do I want to be known for?”
Establish Yourself as an Expert
- Develop a list of your job skills and experience.
- Seek opportunities to earn credibility. For instance, contribute to a publication, teach a class at a local college and take on speaking engagements about your area of expertise.
Freshen Up Your Online Presence
- Edit your social media profiles to remove vulgar and/or profane content. When in doubt, delete!
- Wear appropriate or professional attire in images.
- Use an attractive headshot.
- Familiarize yourself with the privacy features of your social media platforms.
Use Social Media Creatively to Promote Your Personal Brand
- Facebook: Share content that relates to your personal brand, keep your profile and pages “clean” and understand privacy settings
- Twitter: Create a Twitter resume or a “Twesume”In the Mashable article, How a 140-Character Twitter Resume Could Land Your Next Job, Sean Weinberg offers the following Twesume example: “Santa Claus: World traveler and toy expert. 300+ years management experience. Looking for position in entertainment industry.” You can also tweet using #twesume. .
- LinkedIn: Endorse others, follow and contribute your expertise to groups that relate to one’s field.
- YouTube: Create a video resume to allow hiring managers to see who you are and how you speak. Limit your video to 30-60 seconds.
Take Social Media To The Next Level
- Instagram: Take a picture, filter it and share it with friends and family. Instagram enables users to showcase their creativity, places they’ve traveled, interests, etc., through images and hashtags. (Instagram pictures can be “pinned” on Pinterest boards, too.)
- Pinterest: A visual communication tool, which uses virtual pin boards to showcase the various aspects of one’s personality through images of interests, expertise and style. Example.
- Tumblr: Use tumblr’s blogging platform to share one’s resume with hiring managers.Example.
Create a visual resume that looks like an infographic, like Vizual Resume.
Don’t forget to perfect your personal brand for in-person encounters, including:
- Create business cards that highlight how one can connect with you via your social media sites and add links or a Quick Response “QR” code to your website/resume.
- Create a compelling “elevator speech” or “elevator pitch,” which tells people about yourself and/or your company in about 30 seconds or less. Prepare, practice and present!
- You have all of the tools to build your personal brand, so get started!