A BIT ABOUT PERSONAL BRANDING
Today, building your personal brand is just as important as building your company’s brand - in fact, it might even be more important. Consumers want to hear the story behind the founders -- the failures, struggles and the success. This means putting yourself out there and marketing yourself in addition to your business. So do your employers, or future employers. They want to believe in you and buy into what you believe in.
1. Be visible and accessible.
You can’t hide in your office, under your desk or behind your parents and expect to build a personal brand. You need to get out and make yourself visible, known and accessible. Put up with the bad catering and attend networking events, conferences, talks… Even if it’s just to socialize. This is where LinkedIn is an amazing tool- the internet is a cocktail party. Have the free drink and enjoy the ride. Although, don’t make all your social media profiles open to the public (we really do check your Facebook and the likes before recruiting and we’re not interested how lit you got last weekend with your fam. Post content on LinkedIn, show you’re a thought leader and innovator in your space. The more visible and accessible you make yourself, the stronger the perception of knowing your stuff and the more credible your personal brand becomes.
2. Know your Stuff
Read the news and understand what’s going on around you. Don’t let people think you’re just another millennial- we have real value to contribute, we’re not just lazy and over ambitions. It’s important that you understand your industry inside and out -- common sense. But, this also means staying up to date on latest trends, breaking news and your competition. When you do this, it helps to position yourself as a thought leader in your industry, elevating your personal brand to a higher level.
3. Take your little black book seriously
As your personal brand grows, so will your list of contacts. It’s important that you keep a detailed list of all your contacts. Don’t be embarrassed to reach out to people, after all its not always what you know but who you know
4. Be the go to person
You know your personal brand is strong when you become a source of information. Strive to be the person media outlets and journalists contact when they need expert advice or information on a popular topic or breaking news. Start by sharing news and information that you feel is useful on social media and send it to your email list. This can also help to build your following, which leads to people viewing you as a trusted authority in your industry. Ultimately, this will attract more people to you.
5. Your values & the companies
Every major company has a value proposition and you should too. What makes you, as a person, attractive to potential companies or people? What is it that makes you special? What should someone work with you? Once you have this established, make sure your audience knows what it is. Also make sure you are joining a company that aligns to your beliefs and values. Sometimes communication teams or departments vary depending on the nature of the business and the values it has and believes in.
6. Go the extra mile
Personal branding in the flesh is one thing, but on paper it’s another. Take the time to create your CV in a unique way that doesn’t consist of a 5 page word document in comic sans, that’s a recruiters worst nightmare. There are so many free tools out there to help you stand out, don’t be lame- use them.
Last but not least, self-awareness and our friend expectation.
Don’t walk into work expecting to be the CEO in just a few weeks- it’s not going to happen unless you’re seriously hooked up. And don’t drop your lip when you realize it’s not going to happen and you’re downstairs ordering the team coffee- everyone has to start from the bottom, It sucks but its life. I appreciate those moments, the moments I cursed my boss in my head because it defined who I want to be. Always have that go getter happy attitude, I call it my tea and cake face. Don’t be in-genuine, just act like its all going to be okay (most of the time it is).
If your work is amazing and your attitude sucks, you might as well go work at McDonalds, they’re the only place that mess up your order with a smile on their face.
When those days suck, remember your dream… That’s your fuel for your long but very exciting career adventure ahead.
So yeah guys, that’s what comes top of mind when thinking about personal branding and the career space.
I’ll leave you with something that’s always motivated me. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.