10 ways to improve your personal brand
Your personal brand is essentially your reputation according to other people. It is the opinion that people have created of you, from their experience with you.
It takes time and a lot of consideration to build your personal brand. Over time we have all, consciously or unconsciously, built our brand through our behaviours and actions.
You have complete control of what you want your personal brand to be and how you let people see you.
Taking the steps to improve your personal brand takes some thought and time.
Here are our top 10 recommendations on how to improve your personal brand when you are looking for a job and throughout your career.
1. Assess what your current personal brand is
To know what you want to be, you need to clarify what you are now. It is the foundation that will help you create your desired personal brand. Do you know what you are passionate about, what problems you solve, and what you are experienced in? Do you communicate this through your actions and behaviours?
2. Choose what you want your personal brand to be
This is up to you. What do you want to be known for? What is unique about you? What problems do you solve? Consider how you want to be perceived by others and how you want others to feel when they are around you.
3. Analyse the gap in your current brand and your future goal
You are in control of your brand so think carefully about where you want to be and create a personal brand based on this future goal. Take note of the gaps in your brand as it is now and the personal brand you are planning to create.
4. Act to consciously improve
Once you have reviewed the gaps and know with certainty what you want your brand to be, take the steps to improve by actively learning and being conscious of your behaviour.
5. Demonstrate your personal brand through your actions and behaviours
Your personal brand is created and maintained through effort. You will create the desired perception through your interactions and engagement, and your responsiveness and communication. The actions and behaviours are for both your personal and professional life. One complements the other. These actions and behaviours will build trust. If, on the other hand, you show inconsistent behaviours and actions, it will create confusion and mistrust.
6. Become a thought leader in your area of specialty
Being a thought leader will mean you are communicating your expertise and backing yourself with evidence, building your credibility in the industry. You will proactively engage with your colleagues and networks inviting others to get to know you and experience who you are. A positive experience will enhance your visibility and your reputation among your peers.
7. Create a social media strategy to improve your online presence
Unless you proactively engage, people will not know about you. Using social media platforms as a channel to communicate and engage with your network is a critical step in enhancing your personal brand. You can share stories, posts, articles and make comments on subjects that relate and enhance your values. This gives people deeper insight into who you are and allows people to get to know you through the visibility of social media.
8. Consider your audience and what is important to them
When communicating and engaging with others, consider your audience. The tone and purpose of the message needs to match and be relevant to your audience. Understanding them means you can deliver the right message and in the correct tone. Doing so will get you the outcome you desire. Every audience is different, so taking the time to understand their individuality is important.
9. Engage consistently with colleagues, peers, customers, and suppliers
Engagement means being consistent in how and when you communicate, the tone of the content, and your responsiveness. One message every so often is not engaging or consistent. Consider weekly activity or, if you are busy, minimally monthly.
10. Review your personal brand regularly, check-in and get a reality check
Sometimes it can be easy to go off on a tangent. We all do it. We can get excited about a topic and drift. The issue with this is that it can dilute your brand and take you on a different path. Regular check ins will help keep you in check. The best way to learn and grow is to listen to feedback. Some may offer you proactive feedback, others you may need to ask for. This will help keep you in check and understand your audience.
You are in control of your personal brand and how you want people to perceive you. Once you know what you want your personal brand to be, check in regularly and adapt to the professional engagement environment to get the optimal results.
Hunton Executive can help you create and communicate your personal brand so you can build your reputation and accelerate your career.
For more information on how to build your personal brand contact Hunton Executive for our Executive Career Consulting and Coaching or sign up to the Executive Career Guidance online course.