Your personal brand influences how people associate to you, the impression you make, and essentially how people feel about you. While it remains important that you maintain your personal physical appearance by appearing neat and professional, it is equally important to realize that in this digital age, you also have to create and maintain your online personal brand. Happily, there are lots of things you can do to create the positive personal brand you desire, and then nurture it to give yourself the very best chance of success.
Deciding on Your Personal Brand
You can get an idea of the personal brand you want to create for yourself by thinking about people you admire. Identify a couple of people in business who you would like to emulate and have a look at how they market themselves. How do you feel when you see a Tweet from that person? What do you admire about them? What draws you to read their blogs? Think about how they reach their audience; that will help you to decide how to reach yours.
Creating a Digital Presence
Everything you do contributes to your personal brand, from meeting people face to face, to updating your status or posting a Tweet. To be recognisable digitally and give yourself the best chance of appearing on Search Engines, you need a professionally developed website. It will need to include a bio, your resume, and links to your social platforms. You will also need a great photograph and a headshot – professional shots are advisable to really capture you at your best. The world is moving on, but still, first impressions count! A picture of you looking good at what you do, and smiling or looking into the camera, is really going to help your personal brand.
Consider obtaining your own domain name. To do this, you need to check domain name availability using an online tool such as Go Daddy, Check Domain or Instant Domain Search. Remember, you can use your initial or middle name to stand out from other similar or identical names. The advantage of having your own domain name is that you own the content on your own site and have complete control of it, unlike with social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. People are more likely to trust a website URL that matches a name rather than a random URL. For those who are looking to start off with a simpler way, there’s always LinkedIn for you to start working on that profile presentation.
Reaching Your Audience
Think about who your audience is and what kind of content will attract them. Getting published and appearing as an expert in your field is an ideal way to promote yourself, and so is adding value to your brand by creating or curating content that is inline with your image. Consider writing a guest post for a company who is an expert in the field that you want to reach. Also, consider webinars to connect with people and offer to do free talks and seminars in person.
Cultivating Your Personal Brand
In the interest of consistency, make sure that the action you take online is in line with the brand you want to create and develop. This includes the tone of voice as well as the content of what you post and share. Remember not to engage with negativity as this can have a detrimental effect on the image you want to portray. Think about the emails you send and how they come across to recipients. Set up an email signature that includes your photo as well as your details. Your sign-off needs to look professional and load quickly on any email inbox server.
Think about your appearance; freshly laundered and ironed clothes and a neat professional appearance are always going to put you ahead of someone with chipped nail varnish and scuffed shoes. Be on time, be courteous and thoughtful. Have unique, creative, original business cards printed to ensure you stand out from the crowd as well. Leaving people with a great impression of you can only help your brand flourish and solidify!
How you want other people to see you depends on your future plans, your career aspirations and how you want your reputation to be perceived. Creating and developing a positive personal brand is vital to determining how other people see you. It will lead to more contacts, industry recognitions, and better opportunities. Spend some time creating and cultivating the personal brand you want to give yourself for the best chance of success in your chosen field.