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Whether you’re a lawyer, chef, investment banker or actor; you have a brand. A brand is not only associated to products such as cars or food items or companies. Your brand is about what you portray about yourself, what you want others to gather from you when they see, meet or even hear about you.
We all have a brand that we have to first of all be aware of, second of all maintain and lastly update as and when required.
There are a number of reasons for building your personal brand, such as better recognition in a field of business and career opportunities, thus building one should be taken seriously. Whether you care about the views of others or not, people buy into people even before the products or services the person offers so there’s a lot hanging on what we portray.
Below are key areas for you to focus on when building your personal brand.
There’s the obvious; physical image. While physically looking good is not a sure sign that you are any good at what you do, hardly anybody gives the contract to the disheveled looking person. Let your looks match your brand. If you’re a business consultant, invest in quality shirts, pants or skirts, if you’re a makeup artist let you makeup be flawless as you present yourself to potential clients. Dress as if you mean business.
Online image – Social media has dominated the way we connect and communicate with the world. What you post on your social media account is a large reflection of what you are and what you stand for; to the extent that companies check the social media accounts of both potential and current employees. What do your tweets say about you? How do your Facebook posts display your values? What do your LinkedIn groups say about your interests? Everything that you share is a reflection and critical role player to your personal brand, so ensure that it is purposeful and not contrary to how you would like to be portrayed.
Research & Development
Be on the constant look out for the latest development in your area of interest. No matter how much of an expert you believe you are, things are constantly changing in this day and age. Being unable to adapt and evolve only leads to stagnancy. Reads blogs, books and journals and join associations and organisations in order to stay relevant. As you research you will begin to see other ways to develop and refine yourself which could open you up to more opportunities in your field, even to those you did not think of, thus strengthening your brand even more.
A good image is worthless if hidden; you need to get yourself out there. Take speaking engagement opportunities, write on reputable blogs and websites, participate in community discussions, attend events and through it all network.
How are you building your personal brand?