What is Personal Branding?
By now you will know what a “Brand” is: Apple, Google, Facebook, just to name a few. A brand in a more specific way of putting it is a symbol that identifies and differentiates a product or service from the rest. However, this also comes along with an intangible quality: what your audience thinks when they hear your brand name. In other words, your brand is your visual identity and how the public perceives you.
This concept has shifted from solely referring to companies or organizations to also being able to refer to a single person. Its personal use has incremented in the last years due to the competition we face in the job market and the growing possibilities we have of communication information about ourselves in the digital world.
So, what are its benefits?
When you are beginning a job search, it’s important that your references are good enough to make a lasting impression on recruiters. Before you reach the interview stage, your CV, Cover Letter and online presence all play a big part in your image. If they are strong enough, they can bag you the interview you want!
Personal branding empowers your application by conveying specific things to recruiters, or, your future prospects, such as:
- • Who you are as a person
- • What it is that you specialize in
- • And a promise, that will tell prospects what to expect when they work with you
Branding tailored to the sector in which you work or to the job roles you would like to apply to is also a big plus in the eyes of HR teams.
What does successful personal branding look like?
Well, it actually calls for a lot of thought and self-reflection. You will have to identify your very own unique value proposition, what is it that you are particularly good at and what makes you different from the rest?
This will be the core element on which you will base all your branding, then you will have the job of articulating it and communicating it across your multiple platforms. Your messages along with your image must be consistent with your branding.
Here’s how to create your personal brand in a short 4 Step Process:
- 1. Discover your brand
You may find this to be the hardest step out of all of them. It requires a lot of time and plenty of thinking, you have to unearth what makes you exceptional.
- 2. Create your brand
You should develop a series of plans that you will use to demonstrate your value and thus, help you achieve your set goals.
- 3. Communicate your brand
Apart from your CV and Cover Letter, you can communicate your brand on online platforms. Choose which of your social media accounts you are going to make professional. Take care of the image you portray on each one, update with related and sometimes original content. Sharing your personal insights or expertise are a great way to network! You can also attend events that are related to your field.
- 4. Maintain your brand
Once you have established what it is that you would like to communicate and have begun to do so, you can start maintaining your brand. Make sure all your communications are aligned, update them regularly to let people know that you are keeping up-to-date.
Good examples of personal branding can be found all over the internet, the more creative the better!
Robby Leonardi is a graphic designer, with animation and web design skills. To help him stand out from the crowd he demonstrated his skills in an interactive online resume! It has such an innovative design it’s won awards. Over on his social media, he maintains the same image and brand using his animated character as his icon and the same style in his header.
Amy Landino is a creator, speaker, and author. She has chosen the video format to communicate her brand, and does so exceptionally! The first thing you come across on her personal webpage is a video, followed by her podcast, book, and YouTube channel. She carries on her brand and image on social networks such as LinkedIn. Where she connects all her online profiles, using the same colour scheme and brand typography.
As we mentioned before, personal branding is a great way of enhancing your profile as an expert in your field. Both of these profiles seem like outstanding figures within their expertise. Branding also helps you establish your reputation and credibility. All in all, these things will be very beneficial when it comes to looking for a new job or just giving your career development that extra boost!
If you would like to work on your personal brand, whether you are just starting out and deciding on which career path you would like to take or if you are looking to begin a different path from the one you are on (rebranding). You can contact our career coaches for all the help you need!