Creating a distinct personal brand for yourself is an effort that most people may find it difficult. But it’s not! A personal brand can be a powerful tool in advancing your career, particularly at a time when employers are looking to raise their profiles in an increasingly competitive business environment.
There is a common saying that with marketing, people have to hear the message three times before it truly sinks in. So is the case with building a personal brand. As with all good things, personal branding takes time. Its is where you “incorporate your area of expertise consistently throughout your online and offline presence, so people begin to associate you with that passion.”Gabrielle Lennox.
Here’s how you can easily build a personal brand and get recognized at work:
Contrary to popular belief, there is nothing wrong with self-promotion; the key is honesty when you want to achieve a strong personal brand. There are several ways you can advertise yourself. You can write articles and post them on LinkedIn, Medium, or a personal website. You can create a personal website to showcase your portfolio. You can also print business cards with a tagline that highlights the thing you’re known for. Another option is also speaking at small engagements and solidify what you are and what you stand for. Just choose methods of building a personal brand that is appropriate for your role and industry.
Network Internally Beyond Your Immediate Team
You cannot build a personal brand if you are the type that puts your head down at your desk and only looks up when it’s time to close or have lunch at your desk, and only speak with the people in your corner at the office. Internal networking and building relationships are critical to building your personal brand. Internal networking is connecting with people above and beyond your teammates and colleagues. This raises your visibility and makes you promotable and sellable. The more people know you, the more inclined they will be to supporting you.
Share Your Voice with Influencers
Some people have the ears of more people than others. These are invaluable assets whom you have to leverage if you want to amplify your personal brand. Connect with key decision-makers or have a friend who has a friend, or know someone who knows someone. Its the way it works. These have a social network whose reach can come in handy. Exploit the reach of influencers within your company and beyond. Engage with them in both online and offline platforms. Join relevant groups and make connections with people. You can also actively engage in discussions on your field of expertise on social media groups. You could also make yourself available as an expert commentator on your particular field of expertise on platforms. Make your voice heard and define your personal brand because if you do not, others will.
Ask for informational interviews.
If you want to build a personal brand, do not be afraid to approach the people who have done it before you. They have information that you could use in the building of your own personal brand as well. Consider reaching out to industry leaders you admire, and professionals and ask for an informational interview. Do not be afraid to ask anyone you’re interested in learning more from. They would be generous and willing to help you.
When you meet with these individuals, aim to learn how they broke into the industry, what steps they took to get to where they are, how they see the industry as is, ask if they would do something different, what professional circles you could join. Informational interviews help you learn about what it takes to get into the profession and building your brand.”
Ask for recommendations.
Having the endorsement of current and former colleagues and managers is one of the easiest and most effective ways to define your personal brand. There is an added weight to what you say about yourself when it comes from another person. When you allow others to communicate your value for you, it solidifies what you say about yourself in the eyes of those you say it to. Just as a business might cultivate customer reviews and testimonials for use in sales and marketing collateral, you too should develop your own reviews in the form of recommendations.