Personal branding should be something that each of us does every day, in both our professional and personal lives. Whether you realize it or not, nearly everything you do impacts your personal brand.
I was reading a blog post from Bill on EmploymentDigest.net regarding personal branding and how it is too complicated and over-thought. In this article, Bill raises interesting points that “personal branding” has been around for years, only it was known by different names. That could not be truer of a statement.
Personal branding is not complicated, but it is not simple either. It is a process with many steps that requires considerable time and effort. Anyone may sit down at their computer and complete a SWOT analysis of themselves, to determine what they excel at and where they need to improve (by the way, you should do a SWOT analysis of yourself and be very objective in your answers. It is a very useful tool.) Anyone can then think about what they want to pursue in the future and begin (or continue) to build a personal brand and expertise around that.
Today, personal branding is made much easier. There are a multitude of tools at your disposal. Think about it. We all use them (or should be using them):
- LinkedIn –allows you to connect and share your experience in a professional setting and make connections from it. Join a group, start a discussion, comment on a discussion, post a message about what you are currently working on and update your profile with your accomplishments and expertise. How much better of a personal branding tool could you have?
- Twitter – sharing thoughts and information in 140 characters or less. It is unbelievable to think that connections and relationships may be formed over such a short amount of characters, but this is the way of the ADD world. Everyone is on the go and what better way to connect, share and learn than through Twitter?
- Facebook – yes, Facebook isn’t just for showing your family photos or talking about what you did last night or what you are currently up to. This is a highly under-utilized tool for expanding your brand to friends and family and other connections. Why not talk about professional topics (but keep it on your own wall and don’t preach on my wall) and share your own unique insight?
- YouTube – take quick videos of you at an interesting moment or sharing a though provoking topic or just a vlog for others to check out. Video is an increasingly important part of personal branding as it allows others to see the “real” you in action.
- Blogging – this is not for everyone but it is yet another avenue for you to convey your interests, passions and expertise. Why not share ideas with the world? You never know who might read your blog and connect with you as a result of what you write.
I’m certainly not introducing new tools to anyone. Rather, I am simply trying to get you thinking about how to best utilize each of these avenues to help you progress professionally and personally. Remember, think about how you want your personal brand to be viewed by others and use these tools to enhance you. Your brand will always be determined by others, but you are the creator.
Are you a simple or complicated brand? Answer that, then tweet accordingly.
Photo credit to Understand Marketing
Keith McIlvaine manages the recruiting social media strategy for a Fortune 500 company and is an avid networker. He is a corporate recruiter, social media advisor, coach, speaker, blogger and an all around fanatic. Connect with Keith on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or on his blog at the HR farmer. (The statements posted on this site are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer)