Personal branding is crucial to cultivating a successful career. Marketing yourself and your career as a brand is more than just creative business cards, though – it’s about how you present yourself to potential clients, customers, and anyone else imperative to your career.
Do you wonder how you can create a personal brand that’s both effective and authentic? Here are my four ways to kick-start your personal branding adventure!
It may seem obvious… When you’re crafting a personal brand, it’s all about you.Your image, voice, and presence are all that matter. When you’re true to yourself, and try to exude as much authenticity as you can, people will be able to tell. And they’ll like what they see. It’s okay to get inspiration from other brands, but be unique and the world will respond to your personal, authentic self.
In addition, make sure you have a clear voice. Your voice should be consistent, focused, and recognizable. I help entrepreneurs take their personal brand to the next level primarily by working on their voice — and it pays off. Creating a message, and getting that message across clearly to other people in an authentic and unique way, will help you be more understood and appreciated.
You’ve probably already Googled everyone from your Tinder matches to your prospective employer. But did you ever stop to think that they probably Google you? It’s highly likely. Ninety-three percent of employers said they will search for your social media profiles during the interview process. It’s time to get that online presence in check. Think about all the various ways your life has made it online — yeah, it’s mostly through social media. It’s likely that not everything you’ve posted over the years is work friendly, either.
Take some time to clean up your online image by seeing if you can get any information removed, and setting up Google alerts for your name so you’re alerted any time new information pops up. Staying on top of it and going back through those social media feeds with a fine-tooth comb will guarantee you have a better image, and therefore a more cohesive and professional personal brand.
Brand cohesiveness is essential to cultivating an authentic and recognizable personal brand . If you write in a specific voice on one platform, try to make that voice uniform throughout all your platforms. Fonts are also key in creating a consistent visual aspect of your brand! If you keep everything visually consistent across all platforms, both digital and print (such as business cards and brochures), people will start recognizing your brand as yours.
Remember that personal branding isn’t about selling yourself — it’s about marketing yourself! If you can make your brand personal, it will give people a glimpse into your life as an actual human being, which will make you more relatable. One way to do this is to be active on as many social media platforms you think are relevant to your brand. You can balance this online presence with both the personal and professional. Post business as well as personal updates — if you can combine them, that’s even better! Reminding people that you’re human will make them gravitate more to your brand over one that’s more stiff and official.
What’s your story? Understanding your clear narrative as a brand will push your unique personal brand forward, and will thus elevate your business. Keep it consistent, unique, and personable. Focus on putting your authentic self out there, and your brand will resonate, plain and simple.
And remember… the easiest way to do this is to just be yourself!