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How to create a personal brand

How to create a personal brand

How people are finding their next job opportunities is evolving. Candidates are starting to rely more on posting their resumes on job boards alone and have taken to marketing themselves and their skills to get in front of potential employers. Creating a personal brand is a large part of marketing yourself, and you might be wondering how to start. This comprehensive guide discusses why creating a personal brand is important and how you can start building your brand to reach your target audience.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is how you market yourself to the world, whether that's how you present yourself to the community or how you approach the workforce. Choosing your personal brand can help you better highlight your unique skills and show others what you bring to the table. The benefits of a strong personal brand include the following.

Improved networking

Part of building your personal brand is connecting with those who have similar mindsets, goals, and interests. The benefit of connecting with those who share experiences, hobbies, skills, and beyond is that this opens up another avenue of job recommendations, references, and other useful tools for landing your next role. Finding a position through one of your connections can also have a positive impact on your first impression. Your connections can vouch for your skills, expertise, personality, and other attributes companies look for in an ideal candidate.

Boosted authority

As you gain more visibility regarding your capabilities and connect with those in the same industry or with the same interests, you can also benefit from a boost in your authority and credibility. As you delve deeper into your niche, you can attract employers looking for your specific level of knowledge and expertise.

Enhanced visibility

Promoting your personal brand across various platforms, including social media, means improved visibility to everyone who might be looking for your voice. Networking revolves around people you know but has the added benefit of improving your chances of connecting with those not in your circle. This means your brand and your voice are heard and seen at all times. Similar to networking, this can lead to fruitful ventures that might present themselves as new job opportunities, consultancy work, or other avenues that can help you advance professionally.

"Creating your brand is more than just talking about yourself and your experience. It's a thought-out approach to marketing yourself, your top skills, and your unique perspective."

How to create your personal brand

Understanding why branding yourself is important is one thing. Knowing how to accomplish this is another. Here are some steps you can follow to build your personal brand.

Reflect on your strengths

What you have to offer potential employers and your community plays a significant part in your brand. This makes it an essential component to think about and refine before starting to establish your brand. For example, is the bulk of your knowledge surrounding website SEO, or can you speak more about human resources topics?

A good way to find your top strengths is to think about what you can easily talk about with little to no additional research. From there, think about the skills that have gotten you to that point. This can provide direction when it comes to establishing your brand and help you create a list of top skills that you've refined through the years.

Establish your brand message

Now that you know your strengths, it's time to think about the messages you can convey using those skills. For example, say your experience revolves around creating more ergonomic office spaces. The skills that have helped you hone that strength include root cause analysis, interpersonal relationships, an understanding of human anatomy, and risk analysis.

Use these strengths to establish a message surrounding a safe and ergonomically sound workspace. Maybe you can also recommend stretches and remind others to take breaks during the workday. This not only helps your community but also establishes your expertise in the field. It can attract potential employers and give them insight into what you can offer them.

Regardless of the message you choose to show the world, ensure it's consistent and considerate. Maintain the same message across platforms and as time goes on. Consider the message and advice you're giving to ensure that it's helpful to those reading it.

Reinforce your personality

When you're conveying your message to the world, use it as an opportunity to reinforce your personality. Many companies factor in how well a candidate might fit into their existing company culture, making your personality an important attribute to display. Ensure that whatever traits you want to display are demonstrated in your branding. Actions speak louder than words alone.

For example, branding yourself with characteristics such as hard-working, creative, or dependable needs actions or results that support those qualities. This can better show employers who you are as a professional and can help them envision how you would fit into the company's work environment and culture.

Find your target audience

Your message is only as good as those who see it. If the wrong target audience is receiving your message, you won't get the same results as if your ideal target audience had seen your personal branding. Thinking about who you want to see your message and personal brand can provide direction when it comes to marketing yourself and networking.

For example, if you're trying to find a job in a niche market, tailor your message to better fit employers in that sector. It's also a good idea to network with those in and around that area so you can better target the right audience.

Offer solutions

What are some common issues that plague the industry or your specific market? As you brand yourself and pass along your message, it's also important to offer potential solutions to common problems. This can help employers solve issues and can encourage them to connect with you for a potential role. When creating solutions, it's crucial to convey your thought process and how your unique perspective contributes to the solution. This can help companies see how you can solve problems within their organization.

Tips for building your personal brand

Here are some tips to consider that can further help you build an enticing personal brand:

  • Streamline your branding. Having lengthy posts that are text-heavy can discourage people from engaging with you and your brand. Focusing your branding to get your message across in a concise manner can improve engagement and help you reach your target audience.
  • Keep it consistent. Job boards and social media rely on consistency when it comes to their algorithms and getting you in front of your target audience. For example, if you post three times a week on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, it's important to keep that schedule to help your message reach the right audience.
  • Reevaluate regularly. Finding time (each week, month, quarter, etc.) to reflect on your branding can help you determine if your current message and brand are moving in the right direction. This also allows you to identify areas where you can improve or tweak to better convey your message.

Creating your brand is more than just talking about yourself and your experience. It's a thought-out approach to marketing yourself, your top skills, and your unique perspective. Putting thought into personal branding can help you find potential employers in your ideal field. When marketing yourself, remember to make a consistent push to maximize your efforts across different platforms. If you're ready to start marketing yourself and your brand, start by creating a profile on CareerBuilder so employers can start finding you and your unique voice.

More tips for starting your personal brand

Part of an effective personal brand is knowing how to advance your career. Learning about some smart strategies for women's career advancement can help you build a strong brand.

Personal branding is just one aspect of finding your next job. Exploring different job-hunting advice can help you find your next role even faster.