To build a personal brand it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you’re good at and build your reputation on those strengths. In today’s job market, ‘personal branding’ or an ‘online presence’ are terms you will constantly hear about. Having a clear sense of who you are and what you want to be seen as in your marketplace is vital part of developing a successful personal brand and enhancing self-promotion.
Hiring managers want to know how you can solve their problems and how successful you have been in doing that before for other businesses. They need to have confidence that ‘it does what it says on the tin’, so have success stories ready to tell and achievement statements to demonstrate how effective you have been. Case studies, testimonials and recommendations reinforce your credibility, so ensure you are building these into your online presence, particularly your LinkedIn profile.
If someone was to hire you, what could you bring to the role/project? It could be one or two skills that you have developed or unique attributes and qualities you bring to a project. What do people always come to you for? It is really important to be aware of what you do well. If you have confidence in what you do, others will also. It is likely they will be searching for skills or experiences that they don’t currently have within the organisation so what do you offer that they do not have in-house?
Who will benefit from these skills?
You need to understand the value of these skills in the context of a sector or industry. So think about what types of organisations would benefit from your unique set of skills and experiences. Have you got an awareness of the current market trends in your chosen sectors? Do you understand where there is a need and where there could be a potential gap? Using research databases and looking on industry news will keep your knowledge up to date.
Do you have an online presence? Have you ever heard the term ‘digital footprint’? If someone was to Google you, what would they discover? Having too much social activity could damage your reputation. But having very little online will not present you as the expert you want to be seen as.
Develop your profile on LinkedIn by being active and contributing to group discussions. Share useful content, follow companies and grow your connections - update your profiles regularly and make all your contributions count. Consider setting up a website or a blog. Any information that links back to you and what you do well is free online marketing and helps continue to build your personal brand.
Be confident in your abilities
Having belief in yourself influences others to feel confident in your abilities. Everyone you meet, every conversation you start could be a potential customer or project. If you are seen as an expert in what you do you will have influence over others so ensure you surround yourself with like-minded professionals. Join networking and industry events so you are regularly seen as someone who is knowledgeable and reputable. This is also one of the best routes to maintain professional development. Always look to improve - think about developing your knowledge and look at further training and qualifications. By investing time and money in yourself, your personal brand will evolve and other professionals will want to invest in you too.
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