Traditionally a ‘brand’ is a term that’s linked with a company, product or service. Personal branding is about promoting yourself as the concept, product or service.
A useful first step when developing your personal brand is creating an elevator pitch. What makes you different from everyone else? It’s this message you need to consider when developing your personal brand online or when networking.
An elevator pitch is an introductory summary about you, your background and your goals. It’s one of the most effective ways to create a positive first impression and promote your personal brand.
You need to deliver your message clearly, often to someone who doesn’t even know you. Usually, a good elevator pitch consists of:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you’re unique
Once you’ve developed your ‘pitch’, you can begin to build your personal brand online.
What appears about you online? Is it professional? Is it comprehensive and detailed enough? Does it reflect how you want to be seen? Employers are increasingly ‘Googling’ individuals to get an idea of who you are. Googling yourself frequently is a good way to monitor your online reputation. If you find someone who has the same name as you, it’s important to differentiate your brand from theirs.
Your social media content plays a key part in your personal brand. The way you advertise yourself through social media sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, will play a pivotal role in establishing your personal brand online and how you’re perceived.
Here are some things to consider:
Creating a profile is a start but it’s important that it’s actively managed. Always ensure that it contains relevant and up to date information.
Recommendations: Get some good recommendations from the right people. They can hold as much value as a handwritten reference or personal recommendation.
Join specialist groups on LinkedIn relating to your industry or field. Actively contribute to relevant discussions to demonstrate your knowledge.
Twitter allows you to follow people and companies and gain a community of followers yourself. Who you follow on Twitter or the tweets that you share, reflect your own brand. If you currently use Twitter for hobbies and interests you may want to set up a second account to keep both platforms separate.
Tweet regularly about your specialist topic. Involve yourself in relevant conversations that focus on your industry.
Keep your personal Facebook profile private. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t be happy for employers or colleagues to see. For those colleagues (current and past) you’re connected with, make sure your updates and photos reinforce your personal brand.
Writing book reviews, publishing articles or posting videos is another great way to build your personal brand online. You can start your own free or low cost blog on sites such as Blogger or Live Journal. If you go down this route, you’ll need to ensure that you’re contributing regularly – it’s important not to leave any channels dormant.
Remember, your online profile may be viewed through more than one form of social media, so it’s important to ensure the image you’re building is consistent across all sites.
This article was written by the career coaching experts at Renovo.
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