As I’m preparing to host an amazing panel on Personal Branding for Career Success, I could not help but think how many times I heard the “I don't have a good enough story to tell” or “who am I to be flaunting my life on LinkedIn?” so I decided to write this blog.
To be fair, thinking that we do not have a good enough story to tell, is not your fault.
In a world where riches are flaunted in your face, and people are constantly reminding you of your place in society, it’s easy to feel like indeed there is nothing to see or a good story to tell. Yet, I completely disagree.
Because, once I lean in, and listen closely, I often find that my clients have the most interesting stories of resilience, hard work, and optimism. Stories of survival against all odds and achievement.
These types of stories are for sure a great way to connect with your ideal employer or clients. They can be used as a powerful tool in the box for career advancement. If you are reading all this and still asking yourself, “how or where do I start?” below I want to unpack what a personal brand is and how you can build your own with 5 easy tips.
First, what is a personal brand?
Everyone knows what a corporate brand is. Some are lifestyle brands; others are consumer-based. We can often identify what a brand is about just by looking at its logo or reading its tagline.
We, of course, don’t carry around badges or tag lines on our bodies. Instead, personal brands need to be built in other ways. In essence, a personal brand is your story, a story that evokes a feeling. It’s our identity that sets us apart from others.
Tip 1: Decide what you what to be known for
We communicate our personal brands both online and offline through our actions. The first step in building your personal brand is to decide what you want to be known for.
Pick a topic and the audience that you are passionate about and start writing content about it. If you are telling yourself, “my writing is not the best” or “I have no idea where to start!”, look at me, I used to think this way, being an immigrant, English is not my first language yet here I am doing it and so can you!
But in case you are still stuck …
Tip 2: Research to get inspired
As smart as you are, I can guarantee you there is someone out there already doing this. So get some inspiration. Hop onto social media and do some research. Follow a couple of people that are already doing what you want to aspire to- you can do this in LinkedIn or Instagram.
Take action and start writing one post a day or an article in LinkedIn a month and remember that perfection is not the goal here.
Tip 3: Craft your narrative
Much has been said over the years about developing an elevator pitch, and you can find lots of great tips on how to develop yours here.
The important part today is that you develop a narrative that tells your own authentic story. I’d like you to start with taking a look inwards: what are the 5 key moments of your life that you can use?
Remember that everyone loves a good story, especially one where the underdog becomes the hero. Be that hero.
Tip 4: Validate the story
Another great way to build a personal brand is to ask for recommendations. These can come in various forms and from different types of individuals. For example, your co-workers could simply act as a reference on your resume. Your boss or former supervisor may be willing to give you a written letter of recommendation. A client may be willing to share their testimonial with you to post on your website. Regardless of where you are at in your career, there’s always someone who can speak highly of you, your work, and ultimately help build your personal brand for you.
Tip 5: Get social
While I’ll focus on specific social media tips in a later blog, an important tool in building your personal brand is social media. Especially LinkedIn. Here is a great article on how to use LinkedIn for personal branding.
Building your personal brand can help build career success!
Once you know what you want to be known for, do your research, and start taking steps such as laying out your elevator pitch, engaging online, asking for recommendations, and staying on-brand as much as possible, you’ll be pretty close to cementing your personal brand in the eyes of those around you. That also means that long-term career success is within your grasp.
Do you need help developing your brand? I’d love to speak with you and walk you through each of these tips one by one. Just visit my contact page, and I’ll be in touch soon to set up our one-on-one call.