It’s never been more important to build a strong personal brand than it is now, especially when many people are seeking employment and unable to network in person.
Your personal brand is every touchpoint that people have with you — and right now during social distancing, most of this is happening online, so auditing and maintaining a strong personal brand is in your best interest.
You already have a personal brand, whether you realize it or not — especially since everyone googles everyone.
If you haven’t been using LinkedIn and other social channels you should – ASAP.
Developing your personal brand is about delivering value, generating meaningful content, being thought of as a leader in your field and impacting others in a positive way. It requires reflection, awareness and choices that align with your brand goals.
Here are some things to think about when developing and building your personal brand:
- What do I want to be known for?
- What value or results do I want to deliver through my efforts?
- How do I want my colleagues/industry friends/clients to describe me?
- Where is there a hole in the market that I can fill?
- What do I bring to the table that my competitors or peers do not?
What should your brand include?
- It should be consistent and create an experience
- It should tell your story
- It should showcase your unique attributes, background and skills
- Don’t be a carbon copy of someone else — be YOU
I’ve always been a huge proponent of using social media to help you build your brand. You can use tools such as content generation, a strong LinkedIn profile as well as posting regularly to LinkedIn and other platforms such as Twitter to create a personal brand that reflects who you are and what you stand for.
For example, I write a lot about content and social media, so I’ve become known in those areas. I do a lot more than that though for my clients, serving as their marketing director. But that’s okay, because you can’t be known to be everything to everyone. You need to find a specific niche to have an impactful voice.
Once you start a conversation with someone regarding an area of your expertise, you can then discuss the other things that you do.
So become an expert in an area in which you are passionate and knowledgeable, and let others know that you are by showcasing what you do through curating and creating helpful content.
I would have given you this same advice prior to Covid but especially now. If you don’t know in which area(s) you should focus, spend some time thinking about it.
If you haven’t been using content or social media to build your brand, now is the time to do it. We are not going to be networking in person anytime soon. So you’ve got to use online tools to your advantage. Content helps with your Google results, your SEO and your branding. It also keep you top of mind with others in your professional network. I have gotten clients from writing articles, because they’ve seen my name and my work, and realized I could potentially help them.
As I mentioned above, look for holes in the market, look at what your competitors are doing (to find inspiration and to do it better than them) and most importantly think about what you’re most passionate about. Because you’ll truly be successful if you are driven by and truly care about the things on which you’re writing and speaking.
Remember, personal branding is a long-term investment, you may not see the results right away, but stick with it. Post content regularly, start a blog, submit articles to third-party publications, use the right hashtags, offer and submit to speak at conferences, partner up with someone who is a leader in the field for advice, don’t be shy to ask for help, as many people are happy to give it.
The most important advice I have for you when it comes to personal branding is to stay top of mind regularly by posting helpful content, speak and write in your niche as much as possible in the right outlets to be known as a subject-matter expert and like, comment and share on your important connection’s posts on social media to build stronger relationships.
And always be yourself. Especially in the legal and professional services fields where there are a lot of people who do exactly what you do. You want to stand out in a sea of sameness and you can.