Personal branding, one of best ways to articulate your skills, experience, knowledge, and overall worth in today's competitive job market, is gaining much popularity today. It is how you appear to the world. In order to stand out in the crowd, there is a need to build & maintain your personal branding both online and offline.
Today, creating and maintaining a personal brand is no longer reserved for celebrities, politicians, or reality TV stars. In 2016, you need to be conscious of what your personal brand is, because whether you know it or not, you have one. And if you’re not deliberately branding yourself, the outside world is branding you.
Once people know who you are and begin to identify you with a specific area of understanding or expertise, you'll be well on your way to becoming the go-to person in your niche or industry. The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but if you choose to guide and cultivate the brand or to let it be defined on your behalf.
Here are the steps that will assist you in creating your personal branding:
Step 1: Determine Your Unique Value Proposition
The very first step in creating your personal brand is to identify what makes you different from others. For this, you need to spend some time thinking about what makes you different than your friends in terms of your strengths, your passions, and your goals. Also, put some thought into what your company and colleagues would miss if you left the job. Know who you are, as well as who you are not.
Step 2: Find Out How Others See You
The next step would be to ask your trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends for four or five adjectives they would use to describe you. Also, ask them what would be their answers for what are you good at? What are your strengths? In which areas do they view you as "irreplaceable?” etc?
Step 3: Identify Your Goals
Then, move onto identifying your short term & long term goals. Ask yourself, where would you like to be in six months? One year? Five years? Ten years? Defining your goals is necessary to crafting a message that helps you reach them.
Step 4: Identify Your Target Audience
Just like meroJob.com knows that their target audience is job seekers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message. This will not only help you formulate your message, it will help you deliver it to the right places.
Step 5: Reorganize your priorities
Recognizing and reorganizing your priorities is another major step in personal branding. You're probably used to putting yourself behind your company, co-workers, and clients. You still want to be loyal to these groups, but be loyal to yourself, first.
Step 6: Pay Attention to Details
Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things like, the way you dress, your body language, how you behave with co-workers, the emails you write, etc. are consistent with your brand message. Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand.
Step 7: Update Your Resume
Ensure that your resume accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. Go through your resume to determine it matches with your brand.
Step 8: Become a social networker
Social networking is equally important in personal branding. Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Facebook 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.
Step 9: Build your own website
Build your own website to highlight your professional accomplishments, your skills and knowledge, what you stand for, and your overall value. Your website should primarily be about you, not your company or clients.
Step 10: Blog
Use platforms like WordPress and Joomla 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.
Step 11: Get Published
Along with blogs, start writing a book, contribute to industry publications, or simply update the content on your own website. Being published is an ideal way to promote yourself as an expert in your field.
Step 12: Go Offline
Maintain your strong offline branding too. Be sure to promote your brand in person, too. Join and participate in industry groups, give talks at conferences, or offer to spearhead a large project that highlights your unique talents.
Step 13: Tend to Your Marketing Network
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. Be sure to keep co-workers, colleagues, clients, and friends updated about what you are doing.
Step 14: Review your brand frequently
Review your brand frequently in order to keep track if you are portraying your brand in a way that's concise and easily understood? Is your brand message consistent among all platforms? A regular review will ensure your message remains clear.
You now have a clear action plan and you know what you need to change, learn, or add to your personality to make your product and services worth your clients’ money. Do this process, evaluate where you are, and enjoy it. You will ﬁnd yourself driven by priorities. This is creative personal branding – your strategy springs out of your personality.