How To Build Your Brand
Did you know that your personal image and how you brand yourself might be the one thing holding you back from landing that promotion at work or dream job? Your personal brand is your mission statement; your branding quickly sends a message to your employer regarding your thoughts, feelings, and emotions towards yourself and current position.
Whether you work in a formal or casual environment, many people fail to realize the importance of your personal brand in the workplace. A well-managed brand can help you differentiate yourself from your colleagues, and secure your position as a unique asset at the company. Here are three crucial tips to make sure you’re building a brand that will facilitate thought leadership among your peers:
Determine your path
The first step to creating your personal brand is figuring out where you want to go. Be critical and honest with yourself by answering important questions. What is your definition of success? What is my ideal career? Are you an expert in your industry? What is your differentiating factor?
According to previous studies, only 3% of the population have goals written down. Identifying specific, challenging career goals, will automatically put you a step ahead of the competition. Most importantly, make sure the goals you recorded are SMART. Goals that follow this system are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Once you’ve set professional goals you can establish a road map on how to get to your final destination.
Communicate your vision
Now it’s time to identify your target audience to ensure you’re crafting the right message. Let them know you exist by selecting an appropriate platform to market yourself. LinkedIn was created specifically with professionals in mind, and is the best one to get started with if you don’t have a profile already. If you’re starting your own business, Facebook business pages can be a great asset for marketing your services and connecting with potential customers. Maybe you’ve decided to take a more creative path? Instagram could be a great fit for sharing images of various designs.
Once you’ve selected the best platform(s), make sure your information is up-to-date including contact information, work history, important skills, etc. Invest in yourself with professional headshots for your profile picture in order to properly portray your new brand. You can even take your page a step further by including your own logo and tagline.
Curating content related to your industry will help you be viewed as a leader on the topic. Sharing your articles, as well as knowledge from other influencers in the field, will help you connect with your audience and create a worldwide professional network.
Dress for the role you want
We’ve all heard the saying “dress to impress”, but why is it important? Research has shown that wearing clothes linked to high social status directly boosts confidence, increases job performance and also influences how others perceive your abilities. For majority of the population, that means dressing up in a suit paired with nice shoes and a quality watch.
Grooming also plays a key role in your overall appearance and the message you’re sending to others. Women should opt for well-kempt hair, light makeup that simply enhances features, and a light spritz of perfume that isn’t overly strong. In addition, be sure to keep your hands well-manicured to prove your attention to detail. When in doubt, men should reach for their razor and elect for a smooth face paired with a shorter, well-styled haircut.
Now that you have your personal brand, it’s important to maintain and manage it carefully. Committing to your brand is a long term strategy that includes continuous learning and improvement. Start by allocating one hour a day to your mission by either sharing an article on your social media accounts, reaching out to a colleague for coffee or lunch, or simply purchasing a new outfit. Soon enough, you will be influencing others and on your way to becoming a strong competitor in your industry.