The art and science of creating and developing a personal and / or professional brand, including the pitfalls to avoid.
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The opinions of entrepreneurs' contributors are their own.
Today we have to be visible and a nice résumé is simply not enough for that. The Internet, especially in its social networks, has revolutionized the forms of communication and removed the distance between professional and private life. Some recruiters – if not all of them at this point – are the first to instinctively check profiles on social media platforms to learn more about candidates. As a result, personal branding has become more prominent than ever and its reach may extend to our daily lives and areas of interest, as well as professional updates and company social media posts. Improving this branding is a virtually sure-fire boost to any professional or business trip.
What is personal branding?
The term essentially means highlighting and otherwise nurturing unique skills, experience, and expertise in order to get you higher on social or professional networks. It is the image you want people to see of you, and that image is a combination of two essential components: identity and reputation.
Related: Personal Brand: Everything an Entrepreneur Needs to Know
Who are you? Where are you from? What are your skills and other areas of expertise? What are your goals? In which professional environment are you successful? Answers to these questions are provided by the information that enables contacts, prospects, customers etc. to better understand your personality.
Just as there can be a good or bad reputation in private life, as an employee, service provider or partner you convey an image that enables professional contacts to get an idea of you. Keep this image optimistic, positive, forward-looking, and largely confrontational.
Why strengthen personal branding?
Just as marketing is used to promote a product, service, or business, this type of personal marketing results in a number of payouts and other benefits:
1. Online visibility. A polished personal brand increases these exponentially. It will be a vehicle to market professional skills, build a business, or get people to support your cause.
2. Expand your networks. As you grow your brand, networks grow – including professionals in your industry as well as in different sectors. This paves a safer path to thought leadership and success.
3. Building partnerships. Partnerships can be an excellent solution to the many challenges new businesses face – from limited capital to a lack of expertise and market reach. A strong personal brand is a way to get to know other people better and to form partnerships.
As a prerequisite for any investment in refreshing your online self – and an action that needs to be repeated many times – it is important to search your name, brand, nickname, company name, and photos to make sure no one is yours usurped personal identity or professionally. In the case of identity theft, the sooner you know it and the faster you react, the less difficult it is to correct the situation.
Related: 4 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Fraud
How to grow your personal brand online
1. Expand the website vision. Building your brand requires more than just a website; it often requires a blog or vlog (or both), a webinar and whatever you think would attract an audience.
2. Guest contribution. You can quickly and easily become known to a target audience by writing articles on various websites that are already well established in your field. Sharing your skills, experience, and knowledge is a proven way to present yourself to a larger audience.
3. Social networks work. Be active on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the like, but be sure to maintain a consistent personality on these channels. Some people make the mistake of using different names / profiles; this creates confusion and distrust.
Related: The Underrated Power of LinkedIn Content Creation