Public Relations Tactics

How to Develop and Build Your Personal Brand

April 1, 2016

[magictorch/ikon images/corbis]
[magictorch/ikon images/corbis]

Ultimately, your personal brand is how you appear to the world. It not only helps you market yourself, but also your career and your expertise. Personal branding can be an effective way to build a profile in your respective profession and make yourself stand out.

The question is: How do you develop your personal brand and where do you start?

Represent your best self.

First and foremost, start thinking of yourself as a brand. Take a look at what makes you stand out, and what you’re hoping to accomplish in your life and career. What do you want people to associate you with when they hear your name? Is there a certain area or subject matter that you want to be considered an “expert” in? By starting to look at yourself as a brand, as opposed to just another person, you’ll position yourself more professionally and set yourself up for success. 

Once you know what you want to accomplish as a brand, audit your current Web footprint. In this day and age, your personal brand will almost depend solely on the online world. Take a look at what comes up currently (if anything) when you Google your name. If results come up that are associated with you — are they things that you’d want a potential employer to see or do you think that this information best represents you in the profession?

If you answer “no” to the above, then it’s time to clean up your online presence. Since this isn’t always an option, start developing new content that would overrule this older content. To improve your appearance — and build up your portfolio and network — you could start a blog where you write about issues in your area of expertise, guest write for popular industry blogs or join professional networks such as LinkedIn.

Create social consistency.

It’s also important to take a look at the social networks that you’re a part of. If you’re already on certain platforms, then review your profile and create consistency between each of them to make them more professional. For example, you may want to change your profile picture to a professional headshot, and update your bio to include significant milestones or developments in your career.

If you don’t want your profiles to be public, then alter your privacy settings to only display what you want everyone to see.

Social media can also be a great place to make connections with professionals and experts within your profession or area of interest. Start following influential people and businesses and interact with the content that they are publishing. You’ll begin to establish yourself and other users will notice you and want to engage with you.

In addition to networking via social media, remember to post relevant content, and don’t be afraid to chime in with your professional opinion when you do. By doing this, you’ll be publically showing your passion and dedication to your work, and you’re positioning yourself as a thought leader.

Although social networks are an easy way to increase your online footprint, building a personal website, online portfolio or blog are also great ways to position yourself and grow your personal brand. A website or online portfolio can be a helpful tool to send along to potential employers and professionals you’d like to connect with, plus it’s another place for you to market yourself and your expertise.

Overall, the most important things to keep in mind when building your personal brand are: Be consistent across all channels, network and interact with others, and find opportunities to put yourself out there with blogging, writing or speaking opportunities. Your personal brand can help establish you within the profession and your specialty area — so make sure that others are seeing the best version of you.

Lauren Marinigh
Lauren Marinigh is a PR and marketing professional based out of Toronto. You can learn more about Lauren at www.laurenmarinigh.com or on Twitter at @marinighPR.

Comments

Katie Berberich says:

Representing your personal brand is what we do everyday without realizing we are doing so. This article was timely for me. I need to focus being consistent across my social. You motivated me to share my thoughts and to participate in the conversation when someone or something is moving. I am starting now!

April 30, 2016

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