By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
In today’s competitive world, it is important to be able to differentiate yourself and identify the qualities that make you unique. As a result, you will stand out from competitors and may find yourself with increased opportunities.
Personal branding is the practice of creating an image around your personal name or career. Essentially, it involves managing the way you want to be perceived by others. Through your personal brand, you communicate your character, skills and values (Lake, n.d.). As a result of successful personal branding, you can build a positive reputation and be recognized for your abilities in your network.
Based on these benefits, you may be wondering how to go about building a successful personal brand. Here are some tips to keep in mind when it comes to personal branding:
Have a Clear Objective
Determining your objective is an essential part of developing a personal brand. It is important that before you put yourself out there, you know what you want to accomplish and you have clear goals in mind. What makes you unique? Who is your audience? What skills do you have that are of value to them? These are all important questions to consider when it comes to building your personal brand.
For example, say you are an aspiring writer. In order to brand yourself, you can determine who your readers will be based on your style of writing, and what kind of content they are interested in. This will help you to determine how to best connect with your readers and gain an audience.
Develop a Game Plan
With a clear objective in mind, you can develop a plan of action. Due to the rapid growth and popularity of the Internet, a great way to go about branding yourself is to build your online presence. Use social media to your advantage by creating professional accounts with the purpose of showing your skillset.
For example, if you are a talented photographer, create an Instagram account to share your work. In addition, if your goal is to reach out to potential employers, create a LinkedIn account, where you can upload your resume and network with others in your field of interest. Another great way to brand yourself is to create a blog or website that showcases your talents and interests. You never know who may stumble across your online profiles!
Consistency is Key
In the personal branding process, you send messages about yourself to others. Therefore, it is important to ensure these messages are consistent and come together to effectively represent who you are. Your area of expertise is an extremely important aspect of your personal brand, so to be regarded as a specialist in your area, it is important to be consistent in your communication (Caney, 2015).
If you market yourself one way online and a different way in person, it may send mixed messages about your goals to potential employers or clients. Stick to your objectives and be intentional in the way you market yourself. In addition, it is important to keep your online information up-to-date and relevant to what you want to accomplish.
Do Not Give Up!
Personal branding takes hard work and dedication, but do not give up! Even if it feels like you are not making progress, remember that building your personal brand takes time. Continue to network and make connections with others in your field, and be open to opportunities that come your way. Continue to learn new ways to do things, as this will add to your skillset. Remember to be creative and innovative, and focus on what makes you unique!
There are many benefits to learning about personal branding. Everyone has a personal brand, and those who learn to use it to their advantage are likely to find exciting opportunities working in an industry they love.
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- Caney, J. (2015). Personal Branding 101: Consistency is Key. Retrieved from careerhmo.com/personal-branding-101-consistency-is-key-by-joel-caney
- Lake, L. (n.d.). Personal Branding. Retrieved from marketing.about.com/od/name-recognition/fl/What-is-Personal-Branding-and-What-Do-You-Need-to-Know-About-It.htm