Whether you’re looking to climb the corporate ladder, become an entrepreneur or excel among your social circle, your personal brand tells others what they can expect from you.
Dr. Talaya Waller, founder of Waller & Company, a brand strategy company, says developing your personal brand online can help you create, maintain and protect your reputation, enhance its prestige, and present a favorable image.
“Brand credibility is built on several fundamental principles and the more likable your personal brand, the more loyal your clients, constituents, or employers will be,” Waller says. “A well-designed personal branding strategy can have a dramatic impact on your professional success, resulting in more pay or better profits.”
Franka Baly of Franka Baly Media, a digital strategist and business coaching company, says developing your personal brand is an exercise in vulnerability by letting people know who you really are.
“Growing a brand takes time – through consistent and concerted engagement you will build a successful brand. The experience of working with you is what reinforces in what your brand is in the mind of your target audience,” says Baly. “Ask yourself, ‘What do I want the experience to be for my customers when they work with me,’ and it will help you know how you need to treat them.”
In the final installment of this three-part series on personal branding, here are a few more ideas on how to stand out from the crowd and make your personal brand one to remember.
Seek to help others – This may be the most important tip of all. When you help other people solve their problems, your stock instantly rises. Whatever special skill, passion or experience you have that can benefit others, share it, and you’ll quickly become known for your expertise and generosity. Whether you’re referring a former colleague for a job, reviewing an intern’s resume or providing financial insight on your website, when you extend yourself and add value, you strengthen your relationships and your reputation.
Expand your network – As the old adage goes, birds of a feather flock together. Your personal brand isn’t just about you; it’s also about the people in your circle. If you’re looking to reach specific goals in your business, career or personal life, befriend people who are already where you want to be, and tap into their knowledge. “Networking” has become a dirty word, but who you know can take you far, so make sure you know the people who are willing to sow into your success.
Be consistent – Consistency is key to getting any message to stick, and that’s exactly what you’re trying to do when you brand yourself. The idea is to refine your message and deliver it often. Whether you’re going to share your ideas through social media, a blog, a newsletter, in person or through another medium, you should develop a schedule and stick to it. Consistency also applies to visual elements such as your image, graphics on your marketing collateral and regularity in timing.
Get help – It’s tempting to try to do everything yourself, but sometimes it’s best for your brand if you get a little help. A career or business coach, marketing professional or life coach can help you get to where you want to be. If you’re a new graduate and your goal is to transition from student to professional, you might consider consulting with a stylist to develop a more business-friendly look. Perhaps you’ve changed industries and could use the services of a career coach. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – outsource items that are not within your expertise.
The final takeaway is this: you are in charge of the message or image you want to project. Be thoughtful and strategic about the story you want to tell then get to work in building your personal narrative to achieve the career and life of your dreams.
This article was originally posted by Walker’s Legacy.