Last week I gave a short insight into what influenced my job hunting and the path that I took, and I believe that networking and my personal branding had a large influence on what got me hired into Nextfly. So I figured I would start with personal branding because this will be extremely helpful when networking.
So what exactly is personal branding?
Personal branding is the idea of marketing yourself and your career or success as a brand. It is an overall encompassing idea that includes more than just a resume, cover letter, business card that looks visually cohesive. Yet, personal branding extends your personal appearance by including value.
There are three areas I assess when I sit down and look at personal branding: Public Image, Communication and Promotion.
Your personality plays a large part in your personal brand. If you have a whimsical, fun and energetic personality you want to show this. Oprah has a serious and very professional personality and varies entirely from Jimmy Fallon who is whimsical and comedic. Be Yourself! It’s harder to fake what you are not versus display what you really are.
With your personality in tune, I also want to talk about publicity and social presence online. Be authentic with what your putting out online. Your media and posts needs feel like it is you through and through, because after all, you are selling yourself!
It’s time to fully embrace the digital social age. I’m talking blogging, social media and search engines.
Having a personal website and frequently blogging allows potential employers to look into your life through controlled media and drives social traffic. You might think blogging is boring and no one wants to know about me, but blogging helps develop stronger connections. Also, blogging drives traffic and spreads your name. Every blogged indexed on your website opens another opportunity to appear in search engines.
Be active on social media by creating interaction with followers. Posting content related to career goals and conversing with professionals is ways of consistent networking, which will only help increase your name recognition. Plus, making allies in your profession could open up guest blogging opportunities or lead to a testimonial that might just put you above others.
The last part of communication is Search Engine Optimization. Every tweet, post, picture and web optimization gives you another opportunity to be found on search engines. So being active and consistently communicating spreads your personal brand and gives you another opportunity to get noticed.
For promotion I look at 5 key areas that should influence how you promote yourself: your website, social media activity, business cards, well-written bio and a professional headshot.
I’ve covered some of these areas above, but a website is one of your strongest pieces for promoting your personal brand. A good website should include an about you, a portfolio, blog and a contact section.
On your site, a well-written bio gives viewers a quick view into who you are and what you’re about. Your website also gives people a place to contact you, almost like an electric version of a business card that’s more developed.
Your business card is quick way of giving out your information. Always carry these on you because you never know when a new contact could form, and not everybody can look to find you online right away. Your cards should be similar in design to your overall brand image and consistent with how your resume and cover letter appear.
My last bit is your professional headshot. A professional headshot makes you look successful and helps build your credibility. Serving as your first impression, visitors will judge you on your photo and could be the difference between starting on the right foot or starting of negatively. The photo below shows how a professional photo stands out against a photo you took yourself.
If you’d like help in developing your personal brand or need help getting started with building your personal website contact us
here . Check back in with us next week when we talk about networking.