Building your online personal brand may seem like a daunting task and one that often slips to the bottom of the pile. However, building your brand has many benefits, so it should be a priority. No matter what you are striving to achieve; career progression, to position yourself as a thought-leader or to create business prospects, it is hard to ignore the potential opportunities you are missing out on.
The best part is, it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. Here are five steps you can take to building your personal brand today!
1. DECIDE YOUR GOALS
Start by working out the objectives for your brand. Have you got specific expertise you want to share? Are you looking to change careers? Whatever your goals are, this will help you understand who your audience is and who you should be inviting into your network.
2. DEFINE YOUR BRAND
To create a professional brand, you need to know your unique selling point (USP). Take the time to consider your strengths, your values and your passions. Understanding this is critical as it gives your brand personality, tells your network who you are and showcases why a prospective employer should hire you.
3. START WITH YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional platform and is a vibrant, dynamic community which you can use as your own microsite. Pictures tell a thousand words -- update your cover picture and ensure your profile image is professional and up to date. Make sure your work history and achievements are current and that you attached any media files to support your experience. The summary is an opportunity for you to tell your brand story, who you are and your experience – it should always be written in the first person. Lastly, we recommend that rather than push for endorsements, politely request recommendations from former colleagues and employers. These offer a more in-depth insight into what you can achieve.
4. QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
To maximise your LinkedIn experience, you need to connect with the right people. The people with whom you choose to connect will be people who know you and people who see you as an industry leader, and who would not hesitate to recommend you to others in your field. As your network grows, you will be able to send an invitation to people outside of that, by sending a personalised message validating the reason you should connect. Building your network will be a never-ending work in progress.
5. BE ACTIVE
Creating a unique LinkedIn profile alone is not enough to build your brand. Being visible to your network by sharing or publishing quality content, providing commentary and participating in industry groups is vital for success. Sharing quality content not only increases your visibility to those outside your network; it also builds credibility. Sharing the right content positions you as an expert and creates conversations that can result in new business leads.