When we hear the word branding, we automatically think of big corporations and not something that should interest working moms. However, if you want to boost your career, personal branding is more than important. Here’s everything you need to know about personal branding and how to build your own brand.
What is a personal brand?
In many ways, a personal brand is similar to a corporate brand—it explains who you are, what you do, what you stand for and how you choose to show your values.
The company’s brand helps communicate with customers and allow it to stand out from the competition, and your personal brand helps you communicate your identity and show employers and clients your potential.
In short, your personal brand is your story.
This story plays a big role in fast-tracking your career, therefore, your brand needs to highlight your strengths, solidify your reputation, build trust and communicate benefits you can provide to employers and clients.
Now that you know what is it and why is it important, here’s how you can start building your unique personal brand.
7 Tips for Building a Personal Brand
1. Get to know yourself
To create a strong brand that will advance your career, first, you need to know yourself and what you want from your professional life. Create a list of your strengths and weaknesses. It can be hard to be objective so ask yourself a few questions: What motivates me? What are projects that people compliment me on? What are projects where I needed help? What drains my energy? What is something I can do for hours without getting bored? Once you get aware of your personality, you can start branding it.
And don’t worry about being too niche. Your personal brand, like many corporate brands over time, will change as you grow. The best way to start is to opt for an area you like and evolve from there.
2. Paint a picture you want to project
Your personal brand needs to reflect who you are today, but also create a roadmap to where you want to be in the future. You need to understand your skills and competencies, but also your strengths and weaknesses because they will relate to the path your career can take.
You’ll figure out traits that make you stand out from the competition, but also those that require improvement if you want to advance. Foreshadowing where you want to be in 10 years and what you want to be known for can help you figure out the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
3. Define your audience
Before you start working on creating your brand, consider who you’re trying to attract. Maybe recruiters? Maybe individuals from a particular company? Maybe other industry leaders or like-minded women? Once you define your audience, you can craft your story and figure out how and where to tell it.
4. Create a website
Another great way to develop your personal brand is through your website. It gives people an easy-to-reach place where they can learn about you. And creating a personal website is very easy and fast today. Just buy a domain, come up with a look that represents your brand and provide readers with enough information about who you are and what you do. Be direct, concise yet approachable.
5. Create social media presence
Social media today is more important than ever, so make sure to build a solid presence. Choose platforms that are appropriate for your needs. LinkedIn and Twitter are great for attracting professionals, but Facebook and Instagram are great if you want to reach a younger audience and provide people with a visual representation. And social media is completely free, so you can start building your brand without any initial investments.
6. Use visuals to solidify your brand
Color, images and other design components are great tools for building your brand. If you’re a beginner in your niche and just breaking into the industry, you might be tempted to try to save money on these visuals, especially when it comes to logo design. However, visuals are very important and if you do them well, they can pay for themselves manifold. Hire professionals from the start!
7. Prepare an elevator pitch
Spend some time on creating a good elevator pitch for your personal brand. This 30-60 second story tells the audience about who you are. An elevator pitch is a great tool you can use everywhere from networking events to baby shower parties, and it makes it easy for you to describe what you do and what you want from your career. Keep your pitch concise by focusing on a few key elements—that you’re looking for employment, that you excel in particular things or that you recently won an award.
As you and your career grow and evolve, your personal brand will do the same. Adjust your personal brand according to people you meet, opportunities you come across and paths where your career can take root. As long as it fits your professional life, create a personal brand that will let you stand out.
About the Author
Lana Hawkins is a stay-at-home mom by day and author by night.
She’s passionate about interior design, travelling and green living.