We all have a personal brand. Your colleagues, business partners, family and friends have an image of you as a professional. It has been created by itself, in interaction with others, often without any deliberate impact of you.
Building a personal brand
Building a personal brand begins by choosing a few interesting and meaningful topics in which you want to raise your profile as an expert. Then, you start discussing them with your network.
Next, you should actively increase the number of people who know you as a professional of your field, who value your thoughts and ideas and think of you as an expert of your selected themes. This is possible and also fairly easy thanks to social media.
LinkedIn is one of the most relevant tools for building an expert brand. Make the most of LinkedIn.
How to create a personal brand?
A personal brand is created when you share your knowledge, ideas, experience and thoughts to your network in different media platforms. Your expertise is built by producing and communicating content and ideas which interest you, are important to you and which you believe are relevant and valuable to others as well.
The content you share does not have to be your own thinking but it can very well be articles, comments, opinions or any content produced by someone else. When you share content you also show your network what is relevant for you in your field of expertise and what are, in your opinion, the key themes and most topical issues in that field.
In addition to sharing content, you can advance your personal views based on your experience and studies, draw conclusions on some topical issues or comment any current debate.
Communicating your own ideas and thoughts, drawing your own conclusions or analysing a larger context build an image of you as an expert and, in that way, strengthen your expert brand.
Why should I build my personal brand?
Conventional wisdom says that even the best expert is taken over by an average one if the former doesn’t leave a trace. Markets have changed. Customers, collaboration partners, employers and employees most often meet online.
If you keep on building your professional identity in a credible way you may reach a position where you never have to look for work or new clients but job opportunities will find you.
It’s not enough that you appear on the job market only when you’re actively looking for a job. Most jobs are hidden. Therefore, the importance of networks and being present is more important than ever.
Think about the path of least resistance, known from physics.
If you were looking for an expert to your organisation or were a professional recruiter, would you look for potential candidates by the most difficult way, or would you use your networks, or LinkedIn, to find a few potential matches? If you found these candidates’ views, experience or even references online, would you perhaps just contact him or her and send an invitation to an interview?
Towards your personal expert brand
- Define your targets. Choose 1–3 areas where you want to raise your expert profile.
- Choose one or more social media platforms where you want to be active. Take LinkedIn and, e.g., Twitter, SlideShare, your personal blog, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube.
- Build yourself an outstanding LinkedIn profile.
- Share articles and videos, as well as thoughts, ideas or research results of relevant experts in your selected platforms.
- Comment the content and ideas you share.
- Share your thoughts, ideas, opinions, articles or blog posts, and any other content, images or videos in your selected media platforms.
- Collect all the links to your online content to your website, blog, LinkedIn profile or about.me page.