One of the best ways to articulate your skills, experience, knowledge, and overall worth in today's competitive job market is to create a personal brand that helps you stand out in the crowd.
The term branding has long been relegated to companies, but today almost every individual professional has a personal brand. The question is if you choose to guide and cultivate the brand or to let it be defined on your behalf.
Would you like for example to send your c.v. to companies that you want to apply to … or to let the companies discover you? Both ways are right.
Start thinking of yourself as a brand
What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name?Is there a certain subject in which you want to be perceived as an expert? Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.
Create a personal website
Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank your name on the search engines. It doesn’t need to be something huge. It can be a simple two or three page site with your resume, link to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website in the future.
Platforms like WordPress and Joomla make it easier than ever to promote yourself to your target audience.Commit to posting a couple of times a week on topics that your audience will find interesting and educational, but that also highlight your unique skills and experience.
Find out how others see you
Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends to write a recommendation about you.What are you good at? What are your strengths? In which areas do they view you as "irreplaceable?"
Identify your target audience
Just like a hospitality professional knows that their target audience is HR Managers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message.
Set your priorities
You're probably used to putting yourself behind your company.You still want to be loyal to these groups, but prioritize yourself so be loyal to yourself, first.
Pay attention to the details
Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand.Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things -- the way you act in social networks, your language, how you behave with the commenters, the emails you write -- are consistent with your brand message.
Update your resume
Go through your resume to determine if it fits with your brand.Ensure that your resume accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. If you feel that you have to hide something or to moderate some details, it’s not so bad. Just do it.
Become a social networker
Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Linkedin and Twitter. Ask those in your target audience to subscribe to your pages, and update on a daily basis.Make sure your updates are relevant to your branding message.
Tend to your network
Be sure to keep co-workers, colleagues, clients, and friends updated about what you are doing.Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and what the people in your network say about you will ultimately have an effect on your brand.
If you want to be successful, creating a personal brand isn't just an option, it's a necessity.Whether you aspire to get a promotion or find a better job, creating a compelling and consistent brand will help you meet your goals.
Even individuals need to develop a brand for themselves …. Whatever your area of expertise, you can take steps to make people think of YOU when they think of your field.