“I am not a brand. I am just another employee”
“What if I don’t want a personal brand?”
“What’s Personal Branding? I have more important things to worry about.”
All of these statements are by people who do not know anything about Personal Branding. First of all, it doesn’t matter whether you want it or not, there always exists a personal brand of your own- both offline as well as online. So, you can never say that you are just an employee or that you do not want it. You don’t want it because you have no idea what it can do.
Your brand is basically everything you do on a daily basis. Things that, with time, gets associated with your name. It could be your firm handshake or the way you walk or your style of greeting others or your Facebook timeline and so on. More importantly, your Brand is the combination of skills and experiences that make you the professional you are. And most importantly, your Brand is built upon the contributions you make to every project you work on.
A personal brand helps you stand out from the crowd. A recruiter is more likely to hire someone who projects a credible and striking personal brand. Now the question is how do you build one? It is not going to be easy but nothing worthwhile has ever been easy, right?
You Cannot Be Everything To Everyone
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You are unique, just like everyone else. And there must be something (on or off your Resume) that makes you unique. Try to pick such characteristics about yourself and stick to it. You have to focus on your key message. This way, it is easier for people to define you and your brand.
You must understand that the best personal brands are extremely specific. Find a niche within a niche and become the kind of that niche by investing your time and energy into it. Once you are done, put it on display and you will see how people will not only notice you but also REMEMBER you.
Honesty And Consistency
Do not take your audience for fools. They are all too smart and they can see right through you. Thus, it becomes necessary to be very genuine and honest while creating and marketing your personal brand. Secondly, there is not point of doing this if you are not consistent. You need to keep singing this tune in order to REALLY get noticed. Do everything necessary like talking about it at meetings, sharing relevant stuff on social media, in fact even writing about it on LinkedIn or a guest blog and so on. The point is to TELL people about your brand and make sure they believe in it.
Pro Tip: Market your personal brand as if you are telling a story. It is a well known marketing technique and works extremely well in this scenario. A true narrative can easily win more audience because of the emotional connection it establishes.
It all begins with knowing your true self. Once you have cracked that, you will naturally get ideas on how to brand it. Investing time, energy, and money on self-branding might sound like overkill or a waste but it really isn’t. Not only personal branding helps you get better jobs or more clients but it also significantly increases your own self-esteem. It is a win-win situation!