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Personal Branding 101: How to Build Your Personal Brand

social media Sep 01, 2022
White desk with keyboard and orange notepad

Did you know that 51% of recruiters said that employee personal branding is the number one investment that they will increase in the next year?

Personal branding is on the rise. There is no doubt about it. But in such a highly saturated market, how can you differentiate yourself and create an authentic personal brand?

What is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is how you choose to promote yourself as an individual. The way in which you decide to do this is totally dependent on you and what you want to be known for but you should try to keep your brand authentic. Your reputation is a huge part of who you are and before you throw yourself deep into actively working on your personal brand, you need to understand exactly why you want to grow your reputation. 

Why is it Important?

Without understanding the benefits of having a good personal brand, it is almost pointless in trying to build a strong reputation for yourself. In the marketing world, you are surrounded by marketers with strong personal brands and building your own brand has never been more important.

According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, seven in ten employers use social media to research job candidates during the hiring process. This means you need to be on top of how you present yourself on social media and your behaviour on social media. For example, if an employer looks at your Twitter account and your most recent retweet is a relatable meme on slacking whilst working from home. It is likely that you may get out straight to the bottom of the hiring pile or your CV may be thrown away straight away.

But, the benefits of personal branding do not stop there. Another advantage of focusing on your professional branding can open yourself up to attracting countless opportunities in your industry. By building a strong reputation in a specific industry, you are likely to attract opportunities in public speaking, networking events and other opportunities for growth (e.g. internships, job interviews and more). 

Examples of Good Personal Branding

Many marketers use their personal brands to grow their reputation and increase their network. You will almost certainly have some people in mind that you associate with having a strong personal brand. 

An example of strong personal branding is Nathan Bickerton. Nathan has worked hard to establish his personal brand in the marketing space using his creative nature. This has opened up countless opportunities for him, including landing himself an internship with Steven Barlett. A more recent example of Nathan building his personal brand was his recent reactive post to Kirstie Allsopp’s comments suggesting young people should give up Netflix to save up for a house. This even landed him a feature in The Tab!

But, How Do You Build Your Personal Brand?

So, we have established the benefits of a good personal brand but now it is time for the juicy stuff. How do you ACTUALLY start building your personal brand?

1. Have a clear purpose for your brand

This is one of the most important things to consider before you begin working on your brand. Consider your industry and the thought-leaders within your industry and think about what their purpose would be. Think about your own personal values and what you would like to be known for, then consider how you can use this within your posts. Everyone will have a different purpose for their personal branding and you should keep yours true to yourself.

2. Choose a platform to focus on

There are so many social platforms that you could use to expand your personal brand, it is best to choose two or three to focus on to ensure your efforts actually pay off. A large number of people choose to use LinkedIn to grow their personal brand but it is up to you which platform you choose to use. Whilst deciding this, think about what your purpose is for building your reputation and which platforms your target audience is more likely to use.

3. Be consistent and authenticity is key

The people with the best personal brands are consistent and authentic. Authenticity and consistency generally go hand in hand (if your personal brand is authentic to yourself it is more likely to be consistent). Take time to consider your own personal values, your personality and your story. This will help you to establish the type of reputation you want to establish for yourself and how you can help others.

4. Assess your current personal brand

Have you ever Googled yourself? This is your sign! You need to know what details are already out there about you and how you can continue this story. It is important to polish your social media profiles for the outside world. Nowadays, many employers use social media to check out candidates so you want to ensure they are not seeing anything that may force them to reject you from a job. Once you know what’s out there, you can build on it!

 

Personal branding can be a tough gig but learning how to build your personal brand sustainably will mean you will benefit in many ways. 

Want to hear more personal branding tips? Check out our Girls in Marketing Podcast where we speak with personal branding experts and get ALL the tea.