Whether you’re currently employed or still searching, having a solid professional brand can open many doors in your career. For better or worse, building a solid professional brand is a massive part of modern career success.
Additionally, a brand is critical if you’re self-employed, a business owner, a freelancer, or if you have a side hustle where you build your own reputation and customer base. All of these pursuits require a robust and accessible identity that customers can engage with. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to work on curating your brand.
The Importance of a Strong Personal-Professional Brand
Your brand is what people think of or know about you; people will base this concept on several things, but your public profile will be the main factor. You may think you don’t have a public profile because you are not a public figure, but you couldn’t be more wrong.
All your social media profiles, media clips, references, and associations are accessible on the internet. All of them can build your public profile. Likewise, you may not have a social media page, but the businesses you have worked with and people you have partnered with probably do.
If you don’t build a personal-professional brand yourself, all the other sources of information will. So rather than let your fate sit in other people’s reputations or their opinion of you, build your own brand.
Once you have built a brand, it will make you recognizable and memorable. With that, people will think of you as opportunities arise. Your brand will also help you connect with those who are interested in your work. Employers, investors, and businesses use the internet to research or connect. If your brand isn’t visible online, then you’re limiting your potential.
Put Time Into Your Social Media
Social media is one of the most significant factors in branding today. They are global public spaces that can amplify your voice and introduce you to new people, ideas, and markets. It’s also where anyone that searches your name will find you.
Which social media platform you should invest in depends on your professional endeavors. For example, Instagram is an excellent medium for visual pursuits like photography and fashion design, while Twitter hosts a vast network of writers.
Regardless of your other choices, however, you will definitely need a LinkedIn profile to create a professional brand. LinkedIn is where business happens. You might be a fashion designer sharing photos of your designs on Instagram, but you will find retail managers who buy your designs on LinkedIn.
Creating a social media profile requires more than a presence. You need to create content that will attract the right audience. You can achieve this by:
- Posting content regularly. It will establish your brand as the pulse and reliable source of current affairs.
- Post content that others users can engage with or use. For example, you can post about your experiences in the profession or offer a fresh take on an industry topic.
- Post on a range of issues, using multiple media formats but always ensure that you maintain a consistent direction and voice. That way, your content isn’t too monotonous or scattered and is distinct to your brand.
- Social media tools can help you schedule posts, get insightful metrics, and manage all your social media profiles on a single platform. They will make managing your social media more effortless, more efficient, and less time-consuming.
- All social media platforms give you the option to import your contacts. The feature will boost your social network and lend credibility to your profile.
- Find and join groups that apply to your industry. In those groups, you will be able to find like-minded people and share ideas, content, news, or opportunities.
Not only will the people that follow or search for you recognize your brand strength, but so will internet search engines and the social media platform itself. Search engines always prioritize results that are fresh, engaging, and validated by other sources,
Get Serious About Your Set-up
If you’re taking your professional life seriously, you need reliable, fast equipment. In addition, your equipment is vital if you’re running a business from home or regularly handling client projects.
As a professional, you need good, functioning tools to get things done. Be sure that you know where you’ll go to deal with tech issues, so they don’t slow you down. Find a provider of computer repair services in your area. That way, should any problem arise, you will have them ready to fix it, and you can get back to work.
Utilize Your Network
Networking in the real world is something you should continue to do. Reconnecting with old bosses and coworkers or reaching out to new people in your sector can yield results for your brand. Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting or getting your name out there through word of mouth, so keep networking.
You can take classes, attend events and workshops to expand your skill sets and network. Your attendance on such occasions will also boost your social media profile. It shows your activities outside of social media along with confirming your existence and progress.
Don’t Be Afraid To Get (A Little) Personal
To create a unique brand, there has to be some of your personality in it. So don’t be afraid to share some personal things.
You should always choose what you share carefully and according to your own comfort, and err on the side of professionalism. However, being honest about your professional journey and how your personal life has affected it can be super appealing. It humanizes you and makes you a more relatable brand.
The internet offers boundless opportunities, and building a strong personal brand online will help you attract them to you. To expose yourself to these opportunities, you need to create a brand that will make you stand out. So get online, create engaging content, network, gather professional gear, and make the internet work for you.