By developing a strong personal brand, you can kick-start your career and differentiate yourself from those vying for the same position or promotion as you. Here’s a quick six-step approach to get you started.
1. Google yourself
Nowadays, professionals use Google to find everything from employees to business partners. Enter your name into Google. If your name doesn’t appear on the first page then you might as well not even exist. The tips below will help you remedy the issue.
2. Identify your skills and experience to select the best channel
Are you a wordsmith? Then consider creating a blog with your thoughts on industry trends. Are you in marketing and advertising? Then why not create an Instagram or Pinterest account to showcase your ads or visuals that inspire you. Ultimately, the channel you choose to illustrate your personal brand should align with your strengths and experience.
3. Build your online presence
At a bare minimum, you should set up a LinkedIn profile. Why? Because the majority of employers and recruiters will view your LinkedIn profile before even inviting you for an interview. Don’t have a LinkedIn profile and you might as well slam dunk your resume in the trash. Here’s a few more tips on how to present yourself in the most professional and effective way possible.
- KISS – If people want to read your entire life story then they’ll purchase your autobiography. The point of your online profile is not to share every shred of information about you; it’s to pique your audience’s curiosity enough so that they want to contact you. When filling out your online profiles, remember KISS (keep it short and simple.)
- Bullet points – We live in a time where email and text messaging are the primary form of communication. As a result, many people scan long text until they see something that catches their eye. Make it easy for them to skim your profile by using bullet points and any other relevant formatting.
- The Picture is Mightier than the Pen – People like pretty pictures. Remember, most people are too busy (or too lazy) to read your profile. So how can you catch their eye while showcasing your personal brand? Compelling visuals. This could include everything from images of an event you managed to a video you produced for your company. Whatever it is. Make sure you choose striking visuals that help tell your story.
4. Let your personality shine
Sure, LinkedIn is a platform for professionals but that doesn’t mean you can’t exhibit your personality. How else do you expect to distinguish yourself from the billion other fish in the sea? You may have graduated top of your class at Harvard but if your LinkedIn profile reads like a resume then you’re likely to sedate rather than seduce your audience. Instead, share your interests and passions. Remember though that LinkedIn is intended for professionals so you may want to exclude ‘pole dancing’ from your Interests unless, of course, you’re a Cirque du Soleil performer.
5. Build your following
Use relevant keywords. Headhunters and corporate recruiters use keywords to lock in on their target candidates like a heat seeking missile. Without having the right keywords in your profile and you might as well be wearing camouflage. Identify which keywords you want people to use to find you. Not sure which ones to use? Check out a job description of your ideal role and pull out the most common words and sprinkle it into your personal branding pages.
It’s better to give than to receive. People like those who are interested in them. Show that you are interested in someone by liking or commenting on his or her posts. By providing them with praise and acknowledgement, they’ll take notice of you and will unconsciously want to return the favor by engaging with your pieces.
6. Manage and monitor your online presence
Setting up your personal brand profiles is not enough. You have to constantly monitor and update it. Here are my favorite tools to do so.
- Buffer – Don’t have time to send updates on a regular basis? Use Buffer to schedule posts in advance. Bonus points: for the extra lazy, you can share Buffer’s “Suggested” posts.
- Hootsuite - Monitor multiple channels and profiles so that you can stay updated on your personal brand.
Here are some examples great personal branding profiles for inspiration:
- JoeEscobedo, Marketing Guru ✓7 Years' Experience in Asia ✓MBA ✓Award-winning Presenter ✓Chinese Speaker
- DanSchawbel, New York Times Bestselling Author, Forbes & Inc. 30 Under 30, Founder of WorkplaceTrends.com and Millennial Branding
- StacyDonovan Zapar, Founder, Tenfold ♦ Global Employer Brand, Social Recruiting & Sourcing Strategist at TripAdvisor ♦ @StacyZapar
For more personal branding tips, connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter, or share your questions in the comments section.
This article is contributed exclusively from BestTop mentor Joe Escobedo. All rights are reserved by BestTop.
BestTop Career is a marketplace that connects job seekers with working professionals to provide customized career advice, resume critique, interview prep, and more. Take the hassle out of networking and talk directly to working professional who is in your dream industry & company. For more details: www.besttopcareer.com