December 23, 2015
How To Build Your Personal Brand (While Working for One)
The new year is in our sights. Looking to ring it in with a resolution? You’ve come to the right place – for your personal and professional self.
We all work for a brand, no matter the industry. The brand you represent needs to be developed with a purpose in mind and goals to be met. Your high level goals in branding should be straightforward: create awareness, establish trust, develop loyalty, and educate. The brand’s success relies solely on your commitment.
I’m not talking about your company’s brand. I’m talking about yours. I’m talking about you.
Now, why is it so critical to cultivate your own brand when you already work for one? Well, you work for your company, of course, but you also work for your own ambition. By building your own brand, you’re simultaneously representing and marketing yourself and the business, which can provide significant ROI when your own brand works alongside the one you work for.
So own it. Here’s how.
Clearly define your brand.
Professionally, who are you? What do you want people to associate your name with? In what area of expertise do you want people to associate your name with? “Marketer” isn’t going to do it. With so many entrepreneurial personalities carving their way into your feeds, you have to separate yourself by creating your own. Determine the niche within the industry you want to focus on and refine your expertise.
It’s not just about relentlessly churning out industry-related content to your audience. Your brand is as much about your profession as it is about your passions and ethos. If your beliefs line up with those of your company’s, great! If not, that’s okay too. Talk about what you love and be true to what you believe in. You audience will see the human side of you, and that’s important.
Make your social media presence known.
When it comes to branding yourself, there’s a big difference between being active on social media and being effective. Take your niche and apply it here, but apply it the way you would with your client or company’s brand—with a strategy and objectives. Start building your social bios by adding your professional expertise with a personal flare. Share posts and updates regularly, and follow influencers within your field.
Building this and getting into a rhythm doesn’t happen overnight. But with scheduling tools at your disposal (like Hootsuite), you can take 10 minutes before your workday or on your couch in the evening to set yourself up with posts, particularly for B2B-centric social channels like Twitter and LinkedIn.
And just because you use automation doesn’t mean you have to be automated. On the contrary, being authentic and developing your own social voice isn’t just encouraged, it’s a fundamental rule of personal branding. Don’t sound like a robot. Be the approachable guy at the party that everyone wants to talk to. It all starts with a conversation, anyway.
Write. Publish. Promote. Repeat.
Your business’s brand knows how important a consistent blog is to their online presence. But it’s not just about getting noticed. After all, marketers who have a blogging strategy are 13x more likely to reap positive ROI. For the sake of your own brand’s reputation, you must embrace writing and do it often. Whether it’s writing on your personal site or on your company’s blog, you quickly assert yourself as a trusted source of information. And your social media accounts should be where this content flourishes.
We all write, but we don’t all blog. Become a blogger and use your aforementioned niche to your advantage.
Sure, it’s a broad statement. But it’s a mentality you have to own as much as your brand itself. The great thing about building your personal brand is this kind of drive should be sparked habitually, but it needs to be sustained and tested. Attend conferences where you can network and expand your brand with a more one-on-one interaction. Even consider speaking at local events and inserting yourself in organizations you’re passionate about.
Take the time to set personal benchmarks and strive to communicate and educate, because as you develop a network, these steps will position you and your company as a brand to do business with.
If you build it, they will come. Now go knock it out of the park.