Whether you're starting out in your career or you're an established professional, chances are you have come across the concept of personal branding. While you might have heard the buzz surrounding it, you may be unsure about how to create a strong personal brand, and why it is important. A personal brand is basically how we package ourselves to the rest of the world, and whether we are aware of it or not, we all have one! However, when we don't take the time to consciously build and manage our brand, it can develop organically through content we post online, and others that we interact with. This can cause our brand to become unfavourable, uncontrollable, and even potentially damaging to our career. To avoid this happening, it's important to actively craft and nurture your brand – allowing you to control the narrative and what it says about you. In a competitive market where others have similar qualifications and experience, a strong personal brand can help you stand out from the crowd – leading to career opportunities and advancements you might have otherwise missed out on. So how do you begin to create a personal brand that can help you get ahead? To get you started, we've put together our tip tips:
The biggest mistake people make when creating their personal brand is trying to develop a persona based on their ideal self, yet the reality is that your personal brand should be a reflection of you! After all, your personal brand is what differentiates you from others, and makes a statement about your unique set of values, beliefs, passions, interests and skills. Start off by figuring out what makes you special and unique, and focus on building your brand around this. Try and be as transparent as possible, and let your authentic self shine through. Post content about topics you're interested in, share personal experiences via blogging, or even become involved in projects you're passionate about.
Audit your socials
Whether you're a graduate or a member of the C-Suite, chances are that you will be the subject of an online search at some point in your career – and all results will become a part of your personal brand. To avoid any negativity, take the time to do an audit of all social media accounts that you use to promote yourself, and remove any posts, comments, likes, tags, shares or photos that might be harmful or inappropriate. If somebody else has posted something about you that is not in line with your brand, contact them and ask for it to be removed. Also be sure to do the same audit to accounts you use in your personal life to avoid any damage to your brand. You should also consider using privacy settings to keep information about your personal life private.
Post video content
The trend of creating video content for personal branding is gaining momentum, and it's not hard to see why! Although written content is still a great way for you to connect with your audience – it can sometimes be difficult for your personality to shine through. A short video that runs for 1-2 minutes can humanise your brand, and give you a chance to introduce yourself and your interests to your audience. Take the time to carefully consider who you will be targeting with the video, and choose the platform you post your content on based off this. For example, if you are using it to show prospective employers who you are, more professional platforms like LinkedIn are the way to go.
Networking can be a daunting prospect for some – but it is essential to helping you grow your brand, making it more visible and accessible. After all, what is the point of packaging a brand if you don't promote it? Engaging with others on LinkedIn, attending professional networking events, stepping out of your comfort zone to make new connections, reaching out to influencers in your field and even contributing to other people's brands through guest blogging are all great ways that you can grow a network that will bolster your own personal brand. If you are keen to network and get your brand out there, check out our tips for improving professional networking. But most importantly, remember to be yourself. You are unique, and the qualities that make you you are the most important assets to channel when creating your personal brand.
While many people have heard the term emotional intelligence (EI), most don't know what it means to have high EI, why it is important, and how it can help you get ahead in your career. Recognising, assessing, and managing your emotions, and the emotions of others is how we broadly define EI. High EI can underpin not only personal success, but success in the workplace - helping to boost your performance and workplace relationships. Read more about why high EI can help you get ahead.