A personal branding isn’t just about how you represent yourself when you’re looking for a job. It has evolved into this holistic reference of who and what are you. It also involves the question of why you.
You see, achieving a great personal branding is important. You must’ve been tired reading all these hacks on how to be a LinkedIn rockstar yes? Newsflash: You have always been. You really have to be laser-focused, self-aware, all-in for the long haul on personalising your online footprint and synced them to who you are, what you do and how you’re fitting in this real world.
I’m sharing these valuable lessons that I personally learned which has afforded me and our humble startup’s unlimited opportunities, opened up many doors to earning business deals, getting the projects I wanted to be in, and into building the startup we’re currently developing. Are you ready to up your game? It’s never too late.
Before we begin on the pointers, you must understand that you need to walk the talk if you decided to enter this personal branding game. It is extremely essential to the success of your business strategy or the career objective you’re after.
Now, here are the reasons why your personal brand is non-negotiable. I’ve compiled a few of them based on my own personal journey to where I am today:
Representation is everything. Just like how multinationals curate and develop product brands, messaging should be consistent and aligned. How you are positioning yourself online and offline should represent who you really are. The message must be aligned with the image you’re portraying too. It’s everything. You can’t afford to have potential customers, employers or potential business partners to stumble upon any wrong information about you that could jeopardise something important, can you?
You’re in control of your content. Isn’t that great? The only person who can explain and address who you really are is no one else but yourself. You attract those whom you want to be surrounded with. Google Search yourself and find out whether those information being highlighted there represents the real you. Be extremely careful and mindful of what you are sharing or about to share on your social media accounts.
In this digital age, we’re privileged to write our own story and have the medium to speak about ourselves, voice our opinions and tell the world on who we are and what our endeavours, strengths and interests are. The more content you put up online, the more that effort will help your good content rise above any negative or unpleasant content that may be out there. Demonstrate your expertise, interests and capabilities.
Audit your social profiles. You don’t have to subscribe and keep all social profiles you have online. You’d also have to handpick which ones are beneficial for you (personally and professionally). Everyone’s natural instinct is to google your name and where it falls under. Your voice is everywhere, what is the voice you’d want to be known for?
Make use of your influence. Because you are. Need a proof? Well, when was the last time you asked a friend to join you for lunch or dinner at a nearby restaurant, watch a certain movie or visit a certain place? The fact that you were able to tag them along, it clearly shows that you’re already making use of your influence on them. You’re better off creating authentic and sponsored content rather than a hard-selling ads. Go out there with what you are believing in. Again, it’s all about authenticity and integrity.
Have patience as you build it. See those celebrities out there? You and I know that they didn’t become celebrities overnight. They had to work on their craft, hone their skills, practice and invest in themselves. ‘Overnight’ success in reality means that you need to build, create and improve things 24 hours a day 7 days a week and believing in the journey you’re embarking. You need to have faith in it. It is not a sprint, but more of a marathon. One word – grit. On top of that, effective personal branding also relates to how you form, maintain and develop relationships with others. Relationships matters in business and in personal life too. So before you begin to work on the relationships with others, start by getting to know yourself first.
You can’t be an expert without having to start as a beginner. Remember when you were still an infant? How long did it take for you to start your first crawl, stand, baby step, then walk and eventually run comfortably?
Self-awareness is another critical matter too. Give yourself time for self-discovery and think about a clear value proposition of what you can bring to the table as a professional. You need also ask some other questions too such as what services that you can offer to the world and why they must buy from you and not from others.
Overall in a nutshell, here are things you need to remember this:
Be Consistent, Stay Authentic and Keep Your Integrity Intact.