With smart phones, the internet and social media profiles, information is incredibly accessible for us now – including information about ourselves. When it comes to your career and future job prospects, even your current job, you should always be aware of what you’re putting out there and how you’re perceived. In essence you are a brand and should maintain your reputation accordingly. Below are 10 tips to create your personal brand.
More and more employers are talking about how they research their candidates before hiring them, or getting them in for an interview. Here’s 10 ways to create your personal brand and ensure you get past the first hurdle.
1. Social reputation
Be aware of what photos you have on show and who can see them. Your nights out clubbing at uni might be fond memories, but your future employer doesn’t want to come across them. Set your Facebook profile to private, so only your friends can see them and make sure your profile picture is something that doesn’t affend the eye – a nice smiley, boss-friendly picture is great.
2. Be active
Employers like to be able to research their prospective candidates - if anything it can be more damaging not having a social presence. So create Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles. Be everywhere you possibly can which you think will enhance ‘brand you’.
3. Create a blog
Employers love to see that you have personal interests outside of work, so create a blog and write about them, whether you want to blog about something specific to your industry, your work or you just want to blog about your personal life, interests or hobbies. This shows another side to you and gets some of your personality across. When you’re blogging about something you genuinely enjoy and take interest in, it’s also fun, so why not do it?
4. Be professional
Give your personal brand that finished, professional look and create a logo to represent yourself. Place this on your social profiles, your blog, marketing and written material. It shows you take yourself seriously, you care about your image and what you put out there – your attaching your personal brand to it after all. Adding your logo is also a great opportunity to get across your professionalism early on.
5. Stay fresh
You’ve created your social media profiles and you’ve created your blog, that’s great! Now don’t let it go stagnent. Brands are like sharks, if they stop moving they die. A little cliche but it’s true. Employers don’t want to see that you created a Twitter profile, posted about that nights dinner and then forgot all about it. Keep writing, posting and evolving.
6. Don’t just aim to please
Whatever it is that you’re writing about and however you choose to write about it, don’t just aim to please. If you’re passionate about something and truly believe in what you’re writing, then don’t be afraid to be controversial, get your thoughts and opinions out there and get people talking. No one wants a sheep, who’s talking about the same things as everyone else, at the same level. Stand out and get your voice heard.
7. Be helpful
For a brand to succeed, you need to have a gap in market and an audience. Find out what your niche is and try to excel in it, offer tips and advice, write about it, offer insight, search on forums and places like LinkedIn and offer your expertise. This not only showcases your knowledge on your sector, but sets up a great reputation for yourself and you become a source that people trust.
8. What do you want to be known for?
Along with number 7, these two go hand in hand really, as I said previously, find your niche. For example, I studied Advertising and from that found my love of Marketing, thus this is my niche and area of expertise. There are other things I love blogging about, such as holiday’s and travel destinations, but these are things I do for fun, I am not an expert in culture and traveling, nor is that what I want to be known for. I have created my personal brand around marketing and whatever your niche is, you should do the same with your personal brand.
This not only gets across consistency, but (similar to my point in 7) shows you are knowledgeable and an expert in your field.
9. Balance personal vs personal
You are creating your personal brand and with that people do want to see a bit of ‘you’ in that. Don’t just talk about your niche and nothing else, thrown in some personal quirks too. Keep it relaxed, naturally and chatty, but make sure you get that balance between being personal and being too-personal. Don’t talk about your relationships issues, how much you’re looking forward to getting wrecked this afternoon or that you think your boss is an idiot and knows nothing. This really should go without saying, but you would be surprised… Get that balance right.
10. Be yourself
Most of all, be yourself. Don’t try too hard or try to become something your not by creating your personal brand. That’s not how it works and people will be able to see through it instantly. When you’re being yourself, you’ll find your content, thoughts and ideas will come more naturally, as will the way you speak, right and portray yourself. Let people get a sense of who you are and what you’re like, not the portrayal you’re trying to create.
That about wraps up my top 10 tips for creating your personal brand. What are your thoughts about them? Do you have your own tips for creating a personal brand? Why not let me know in the comments below or find me on Twitter, thanks!