How to build and develop your personal brand

Personal Branding

In the past, the term branding has always been associated and linked to companies. However, given technology and social media, the playing field has changed and almost every individual has a personal brand. You might not be aware but most people have a digital print but not consciously cultivated these brands.

Today it is not about if you have a personal brand, rather how you are going to guide and cultivate the brand. Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. When people get to know who you are and identify you with a specific skill or expertise, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the go-to person in your niche or industry.

Building your personal brand helps to open many professional opportunities. Creating a vision for your future and implementing this vision can lead a better job, expanded network, industry recognition, and more.

Here are few ways you can start building or expand your personal brand:

Think of yourself as a brand – Ask how you would like people to associate with you when they mention your name. How do want to be perceived?

Create an authentic personal brand and image – Your brand should be a reflection of who you are. Do you know what you believe? What you stand for? What your strengths and weaknesses are?

Undertake an online audit – Go through your social media profiles and make sure everything is current and up-to-date. Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.

Buy a personal domain – Having your own personal domain is probably one of the best ways to rank you name on search engines. This can be 2 to 3 pages with your resume.

Speaking engagements – Speaking on a regular basis is an excellent way to build your brand and network. Speak from a place of knowledge and make sure you know what you’re talking about, and answer questions in a way that serves your audience.

Add value to your product – Look for ways to add value to any conversation and audience with fresh, creative content that lines up with your brand.

Share your thoughts and ideas with purpose – Remember, every tweet, social update, picture your share, all contribute to your brand.

Create a public slideshare – To demonstrate your thought-leadership you can create presentation expressing your point of view. Slideshare’s allow you upload your valuable content and make it available to your audience.

Continuing education – Identify a skill that you would like to learn or improve and commit to a plan to develop the skill.

Join an online group and conversation – To connect with other professionals and expand your network, you can join a LInkedIn group

Get recommendations and endorsements – Ask your supervisor, manager, or boss to write a recommendation and validate your skills and expertise.

Create a personal video – Create a personal video outlining who you are is a very powerful vehicle for building your brand.

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