You have a personal brand regardless of whether you have dedicated time crafting it or not. Your personal brand is the summation of what can be found about you online. If a stranger were to come across your social media, how might they interpret that information to determine who you are. Is it an accurate portrayal of who you are and how you’d like to be represented? If not, then you may want to consider a personal rebranding.
Think of a leader who you admire. What qualities come to mind when you think of them? Chances are these qualities came to mind very quickly. This is because they have been effective at managing their personal brand. Managing your own brand is crucial because it allows you to be more in control of your career, and act in accordance with your capabilities and values. This will ultimately enable you to have a more intentional and fulfilling career.
Figure out what you’re all about
The first step in managing your own brand is to take the time to self-reflect and determine what it is you want to be known for. Remember to be genuine and stay true to yourself. Your personal brand will be strongest if it is authentic and original to you. You should not base your brand on what you think others expect or want. Staying true to yourself will allow you to discover and highlight your superpowers so that you can find your own path. Your potential employer will appreciate and respect you more for it.
You can get started by looking at your history. Both your professional and personal experiences have helped to shape you into the person you are today. Think about which of your experiences have been the most meaningful and influential to you. Your brand should demonstrate your unique history and personality while speaking to your interests, skills, and strengths. You should also consider what overarching message or theme you want to communicate with your personal brand.
Practice what you preach
Your personal brand doesn’t begin and end with your online presence; it fully encompasses all your interactions – online and in real life. Your personal brand should reflect what you are passionate about, your values, and your experience; and you should reflect your brand. Do your best to act in accordance with your goals, values, and strengths all the time.
Also make sure to always be on the lookout for opportunities and experiences that align with your personal brand. Being open to these will help you cultivate your brand, solidify your reputation, and build your community. This could mean that you need to create your own opportunities, but that’ll be a piece of cake for you since you are the expert on yourself.
Craft your online presence accordingly
You may want to perform an audit of your social media platforms. Review your posts, shares, and likes from the point of view of a stranger and determine if they are still appropriate for the “you” you are crafting. You may consider removing posts or updating bios and descriptions for anything that no longer aligns with the personal brand you are currently crafting. We all grow, and change; removing posts that no longer speak to who you are is perfectly acceptable. You can also control your online persona and personal brand on social media by updating your privacy settings.
Have fun playing with different ways to control your message and get your personal brand out there. Creating your own website can be a creative and effective way to do this. When it comes to managing your personal brand, the details are important. Be intentional about the words and photographs you use to make sure that you are coming across as you intend. Even smaller details, such as fonts and colors, can impact how you are perceived, so think carefully about those as well. Making sure these aspects accurately portray the brand you are crafting can be challenging, but certainly worth the effort.
Update your résumé
While it’s absolutely essential to tailor your résumé to fit every specific job description, it’s also crucial that your résumé always reflects your personal brand. You can communicate your personal brand through your word choice, the experiences you highlight, and many other components of your résumé. The important part to keep in mind is that no matter what job you are applying for, make sure that your unique perspectives and goals shine through.
Continue to make revisions
Your personal brand is not set in stone. It should remain fluid and frequently be updated to match your current experience, goals, interests, and progress. Taking the time to reflect on where you are currently and how this fits in with your personal brand will keep you in tune with your motivations and values. And this will set you up for greater career success and fulfillment. You are constantly changing, evolving, and growing, and your brand should reflect this.
Managing your own brand goes far beyond “looking good on paper.” You can not have an authentic brand if it is based on what you think others want from you. It can only be based on what you want from yourself. Ultimately, you should keep your accomplishments front of mind and keep your focus on your future goals. Both are important for building a fulfilling career path and shaping what you want to be known for. The more aligned this is with who you are and how your specific superpowers can help others, the easier you will find this process and the happier you will be.