Like it or not, personal branding plays an important role in determining how you are perceived by others in your industry. Moreover, you don’t necessarily have to consciously build a personal brand to have one—any mention of you online or in person contributes to the way that you are perceived, i.e. your personal brand.
So the question becomes not whether you need a personal brand, but how to take control of it, and use it to benefit yourself.
Here are 5 ways to start building your personal brand today:
1.) Be You
The expression ‘Fake it till you make it’ doesn’t apply here. You cannot build a personal brand that will resonate with people if you’re not being true to your own personality. Constantly having to monitor what you say and how you’re being perceived by others would not only be exhausting, but most people would clue in at some point. After all, if you’re putting on an act and saying and doing the things you think you should be, the slightest misspeak could shatter all the credibility and goodwill you’ve built.
2.) Professional Online Presence
A lot of people have old social media profiles rife with all sorts of personal or excessive information. Do your social media profiles represent you in the way that you want or is there room for improvement?
It’s also a good idea to build and maintain a website for your personal brand, which can essentially be your ‘home’ on the internet. It doesn’t necessarily have to be updated every day, but a basic professional looking website is an easy low-cost way of controlling how you’re coming across on the internet. In fact, Canadian Web Hosting’s plans start as low as $3.95 per month.
3.) Educate Others
Build your communications skills and appear at events, interviews and publish thought leadership articles—anything that will differentiate you from others and establish yourself as a confident, knowledgeable voice in your field.
You can start off at small locally based events, and gradually work your way up to higher-profile engagements as your following grows. The important thing is to always bring your best self, and deliver as much value as possible every time you speak.
4.) Keep learning
Ensure that you stay up to date with the latest trends and movements in your industry. No matter how knowledgeable you are, if you’re not also reading trade journals, blogs, and articles teaching you about the new developments in your field, you will soon stop being relevant.