How to build your personal brand

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By PR & Marketing Manager, Annabelle Price

When you’re faced with fighting off 100 individuals with the same qualifications, experience and passion as you for a single role, it’s important to know what will make you stand out.

Your personal brand is exactly this. It’s who you are, what you stand for, the values you embrace, how you express those values - and it’s completely unique to you. Just as a company’s brand communicates its value to customers and helps it stand out from the competition, a personal brand does the same for individuals, helping to communicate a unique identity and clear value to potential employers.

Communicating your personal brand is all about storytelling and top tier communication. It may seem challenging at first, but there are clear steps you can take to build a personal brand that helps you POP.

  1. Get introspective

To accurately reflect your personal and professional personality, you need to take the time to look closely at what makes you tick, what motivates you and how you overcome challenges. Where do you excel and where do you fall short?

It can be hard to answer some of these questions about yourself, so why not ask family, friends or co-workers to describe you? It is only when you understand the different parts of your personality that you can really market them. Don’t forget that your personal brand can evolve as you and your career does, so don’t be afraid to re-evaluate.

  1. Know your audience

If you are looking to build a personal brand to attract recruiters in your industry of choice, define what this audience would want to know about you and use this knowledge to tell your story. For example, 90% of recruiters leverage Linkedin to find new recruits, so make sure your profile page reflects you, your skills and your strengths.

  1. Dive into industry

When you’re building your own brand, the desired goal is to stand out. However, it’s important to understand who else is operating in your industry of choice, who the experts are and the individuals whose success you may want to replicate! As you map out your career – research, research, research. Follow the people and the businesses that inspire you and look into who inspires them.

Most people are very generous when it comes to supporting people’s progression. Why not reach out to some of the experts in your industry and ask for an informal discussion? Ask them how they got their big break, their advice and the challenges they faced to get to where they are.

  1. Get networking

With a journalism degree under my belt and career in PR, networking has always been a big part of my career, but at times it can be hard and a little bit awkward. It is intimidating to show up to a networking event of hundreds of people where you will know nobody. However, it gets easier with time and everyone is incredibly friendly, generous with their advice and it can be alot of fun! To build your personal brand, you need to get out there, make connections and start asserting a positive reputation. This will be critical when it comes to building professional relationships in the future!

  1. Learn to love Linkedin

Is it strange to be a 27-year-old whose favourite social media is now Linkedin? When you fully embrace Linkedin for the networking, mentoring and inspirational career hub it is – and look past the somewhat corporate shopfront – you will love it too! Building your personal brand requires some promotion and whether this is on Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram or through a personal portfolio or website – you should take the time to grow your online presence.

Some of my top tips for Linkedin:

  • Explicitly list the key skills that are wanted in your industry on your profile and in your headline. Recruiters will use key word searches to find people – so get yourself to the top of that search list!
  • Complete your profile. So many people leave elements bare and this doesn’t look good. Take the time to fill out your educational background, list certifications/awards/scholarships and write your bio. Give your audience the full picture.
  • Get a clear photo. I actually don’t think a photo has to be overly corporate – in a suit and with a white background. However, make sure it is just of your face, you’re not holding a glass of wine in a club and the quality is good.
  • Quantify your accomplishments. Don’t just say you’re creative or results-driven – show it. Attach links or PDFs of things you have written, certifications you have and case studies of your work.
  • Lastly, soak it all in. Have your LinkedIn page open on a tab all day every day. When you feel your productivity dipping on a task or you need a break before you go back to proofread content with fresh eyes, don’t pick up your mobile phone. Turn to Linkedin, browse your feed, engage with content and cultivate your audience.

If you have any further questions about building your personal brand, feel free to connect with me on Linkedin and send me a message! Click here to connect.