Creating a great personal brand could be exactly what you need to get your foot in the door.
What is a personal brand? Creating your own personal brand is a way to market yourself and your career. Think of how a company comes up with a logo, name, and slogan for their product. These are all part of their brand, techniques created to make you remember who they are. You want to do that for yourself to help further your career along.
How are you different?
When you get into your brand, you want to show off what makes you different from everyone else. Once you figure out what that is, you need to showcase it. This is what will help you get the job over the next candidate. If you aren’t quite sure what makes you different, there are a few things you can reflect on. Take a look at your strengths and passions. What type of work are you most willing and happy to do? If you were to leave your current job, what would the company miss from you?
Build your presence online.
You are probably already online, with social media and the like. It’s now time to utilize these tools to your advantage. You should secure a personal website that is setup to showcase your career achievements. Your resume should be included, as well as a brief introduction to yourself. There should be a link to your portfolio, if necessary for your industry. There should also be a link to other social media sites that you are on, including LinkedIn. You don’t have to start off elaborately. You can create a small, two or three page website in a matter of hours.
Get your name out there.
Start participating in online discussions that are relevant to your industry. An easy way to do this is through the groups on LinkedIn. Give out relevant and correct advice and experience. Talk about what you are currently doing in your career and how you are seeking to improve yourself. Go to networking events and do the same. To take it a step further, if you can get a time slot speaking at a networking event, do it. If you are not good with public speaking, take the time to practice in front of friends and family. The more public speaking you do, the better you will become with time.
During your time you spend networking, you should be building up a list of connections that may be able to help you later down the road. You want to foster these connections as much as possible. Pick a couple of these connections that you believe will be the most beneficial, and spend some time building them up and becoming part of their inner circle. Keep track of their writing and make comments on it, follow them on social media, and ask to do guests blog-posts for them. In time, they can help you take your brand to the next level.
There is no point creating your personal brand if you don’t know what you want to get out of it. This should be your very first step in the process. Once you know what you want, then you can tailor your brand to create an image that will get you there. Do you want to find a higher paying job? Do you want to switch career paths? Is there a dream company you want to work for? Once you’ve decided this, you need to set a timeline. How long are you giving yourself to reach this goal? You can decide on a few months, a year, or even a couple of years. Creating a plan of action will help you achieve the things you want to get done.
Start a blog.
As said before, you should set up your own personal website. That is where you can collect all of your information in one place. A blog is a different story. This is where you can get your voice out there and go into more detail when it comes to your brand. Talk about topics that are relevant to your career field and that you are knowledgeable about. Remember to do your research—this is writing that will represent you. You should also know who your audience is. Just like Toys R Us has an audience of children and adults with children, you should have a clear idea of who you want to read your blog.