There has been a lot of talking of late about personal branding in the business world and in the media. Although this task sounds both complicated and expensive, this is so far from the truth. You must be thinking, well, what is personal branding and how does it work for little ol’ me. Most people consider personal branding to be celebrity-only territory. After all, there is only one Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, but consider this. Are you trying to land that amazing new job or move up within the company where you’re currently employed? Then by definition, you need personal branding. Personal branding is essentially how you market yourself to others.
Just a few years ago, marketing yourself in any way similar to a celebrity was an expensive undertaking that most of us couldn’t or wouldn’t invest in. Today we have awesome tools at our disposal such as laptops, smart phones and social media. In many ways, this multi-media extravaganza has levelled the playing field in ways never before experienced. But there are good and bad sides to everything, so before you go multi-media crazy, be sure to understand and avoid typical pitfalls.
1. DEFINE YOU
Figure out what makes you special and define it. Go old school for a minute and jot down 2 or 3 of your life goals followed by 10 or 15 words that describe you. Narrow down to the top 5 and incorporate these into all your social media.
2. BE CONSISTENT
Don’t be whiney-girl-full-of-complaints on Twitter, all business on LinkedIn, while your party animal side is displayed on Facebook or Instagram. If you’ve determined that your goals are moving up the company ladder, traveling to exotic locations and that your personality is friendly and helpful, keep those things in mind with every photo and post, regardless of the social media platform. You would be surprised the amount of prospective employers or recruitment agencies who google their job applicants prior to phoning. That photo of you with a champagne bottle to your mouth at your sister’s wedding can send the wrong idea to those who do not know you.
3. KNOW WHAT TO POST
Without taking all the fun out of social media, consider what you post. Keep in mind, nothing done online is ever truly a secret. So, if you’re trying to move up the corporate ladder, posting public complaints about the boss won’t help. Instead, post articles related to your job company product or even industry related. Look for ways to put a positive spin on everything, even a bad day.
Fill out appropriate information regarding your current position. If this is consistent in all your social media, it remains memorable to those who see it. You never know when the next opportunity in life will occur simply because somebody remembered a detail about you they saw on your LinkedIn Resume. Now that we have reached the subject of LinkedIn, this platform is a must for those executives and business owners to add to your social media strategy. With over 238 million members globally, it’s the largest professional networking site in the world. Put your best foot forward here and see what those in your industry have on their profile and are posting.
4. HAVE A BUSINESS CARD
Most young people think business cards are old-school but in fact, they’re still widely used and handed out at networking events. Sandy Minton, an executive with a global communications company, once said she was hired because the HR director fished her business card out of the bottom of an old briefcase and used it to check out her qualifications online. You don’t necessarily have to have expensive cards printed. And for those who do all things high-tech, you can create and share one with your phone using mydropcard.com or rmbrme.com. On the web, BusinessCard2.com is a fantastic network for creating and distributing your personal card.
5. MAKE A PROFESSIONAL EMAIL ADDRESS
Your email address is important for brand continuity. “firstname.lastname@example.org a good example. Besides being user friendly, Gmail is easy to use for networking through Google Plus. Google plus is a very businesslike social media as it is used for the likes of Search Engine Optimization purposes therefore is heavily used by online businesses.
6. CREATE BLOGS & VIDEOS
Many people blog or post videos to sites such as YouTube. Again, find your niche and be consistent. Use a recognisable catch phrase in all forms of media to begin or end your blog or video production. Also include a link back to your social media profiles to ensure your future boss can see your CV after finding your online interview and send you a personal message.
Whatever your goals in life, from selling widgets to landing the next big job, personal branding can help. The key is presenting quality consistency, on and offline. While not necessarily needing or wanting fame in the way of a celebrity, you can certainly create your own famous brand within your circle of influence and particular chosen industry.
WORDS BY VICTORIA THORNTON. Victoria is a personal branding expert. With seven years in the marketing field, two of those working for the major hotel brand,Crowne Plaza Surfers Paradise, she has learnt how to transfer her branding skills to that of the individual
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