Companies are always looking for ways to brand themselves and further improve their image to reach a wider variety of clientele. What many people do not realize, is that it is equally important to brand yourself.
This article is going to offer tips on how to brand yourself online and offline. It will also explore some of the skills you will need to do this effectively. By the end of the article, you should have a sound understanding of this process and the required skills.
Five Steps to Consider
#1. Envision Your Desired Goal
The first step to consider when branding yourself is to envision your desired goal. Take a step back and start to brainstorm what exactly you want your brand to consists of. Some things to consider are your areas of specialization, desired professional image, public groups you frequently associate with, and more. All of these elements incorporate together when you are building your own personal brand.
#2. Appearances Do Matter
While it is true that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, in the world of personal branding this statement couldn’t be further from the truth. It is important that you begin developing a professional appearance and persona that closely falls in line with your goals. For example, if you are a fashion expert, then you will want to stay on top of developing trends and ensure that your photos reflect this knowledge with your wardrobe appearance.
#3. Importance of Your Online Presence
The next step to consider when you want to brand yourself is the importance of your online presence. This includes a variety of social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and more. If you are looking to establish a professional image, then you will want to ensure that any public content reflects that. Try to avoid posting content that could be considered offensive. For personal content, be sure your privacy settings are set to limit viewing to friends and family to avoid accidental exposure.
#4. It’s All About Networking
Remember, to effectively brand yourself you will need to be able to network. Networking can occur in a variety of settings like conventions, job fair events, social venues and more. While the setting may vary greatly, it is important to conduct yourself in a manner that is both professional and efficient. Try to always have a few business cards with your contact info on you at all times for quick and easy exchange. Remember always to ask questions about the other person to help drive the conversation further.
#5. Consistency Is Key
The most important thing to remember when trying to brand yourself is that consistency is key. You should always try to stick with your original goal that you established when brainstorming your brand. This includes your public and private behavior to ensure you are building a brand as effectively as possible.
Four Skills You Need to Effectively Brand Yourself
1. Honesty Is Key
The most important skill you need when trying to brand yourself is honesty. You need to be able to effectively gauge yourself and formulate goals and an image that naturally complement you. This is why it is important, to be honest with yourself throughout the branding process. The more your brand falls in line with who you are, the easier it will be for you to develop.
2. Good Social Behaviors
Another important skill to you will need when trying to brand yourself is good social behaviors. As mentioned previously, networking is a major component of any brand development strategy. This is why it is important to build good social behaviors both personally and professionally.
Remember, conversations should always be both give and take. To help conversations flow naturally, ask questions throughout about the subject matter. This will show your interest in what the other person has to say and help you learn more about them. By using this approach, you can better formulate how the person could possibly fit into your brand development.
3. Importance of Confidence
One of the most important skills you need when trying to brand yourself is confidence. It is important that you can adequately improve your self-image enough that you radiate confidence without falling into the category of cocky. Lack of confidence is most often seen when speaking publicly.
For those who are naturally shy or timid, consider practicing speaking to yourself in a mirror. This way you can watch your facial expressions as you speak. When you laugh or smile, you want the expression to show in your eyes so that it appears natural when talking to another person.
4. Some Tech Required
Another skill that is frequently overlooked is the need to understand some technology. With digital communication on the rise, it is important to have profiles on appropriate professional sites like LinkedIn. You want to build a profile with relevant information so that your audience can find you both online and offline.
Things to include would be your professional background, hobbies & interest, and general location information. Try to avoid over the top descriptions of your past achievements and keep the descriptions as short and accurate as possible. For contact information, always try to use an email address that is professional.
By following the steps and reviewing the skills in this article, you should have a sound understanding of how to brand yourself. Feel free to try them out for yourself and begin developing your own professional persona.
For those of you who have already had personal success with brand development, feel free to tell us about your experience and share any helpful tips you may have below.