Do you remember your high school’s senior class superlatives? I remember categories such as, “Most Likely to Succeed,” “Best Dressed,” and “Class Clown.” Maybe not class clown, however I think what’s most interesting about superlatives is that there is never any official campaigning before the voting begins. However, the superlative winners have been subconsciously campaigning all along; most since freshman year. Even as teenagers our self-perception impacted how others perceived us based on the attributes we displayed.
How you are perceived by the rest of the world matters and the information you are providing to promote those perceptions is even more important. Today you do not need to be a celebrity like Kim Kardashian or entrepreneur like Tony Robbins to be concerned about your personal brand. Even cats manage their personal brand these days, why not you? If you are connected to any social media network you may be building one without realizing it.
You create Your Own Universe.
Everyone has talent to offer the world. Even if you’re not sure what that is yet, be mindful about what you’re projecting to the universe while you discover your passion. (That way you’ll have to do less damage control later.) If you've discovered your special niche, it’s time to show it to world. Think about the skills and knowledge that you possess that may appeal to others and the best way to display it. This will help bring value to your brand, also known as brand equity. As a career professional, that translates to why you’ll get hired over someone else. Here are some tips to get you started with your personal brand launch this year.
Create a Domain.
Create an address on the worldwide web where someone can find you. Consider purchasing a domain such as yourfirstandlastname.com. If designing a page sounds like a little too much right now. Just purchase one and park it for later use. A free alternative is creating an About.me page. You can find mine at
. The template is simple and yet very customizable and can be linked to any other website or social media platform.
Social Media is a Must.
This may seem obvious, but I have met some very reluctant souls. However, if you’re just starting out I recommend having a Twitter and LinkedIn account at the very least. They are not only great platforms to showcase your brand, but a fantastic place to connect with others who share similar interests. Other great social media outlets to consider are Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+. I personally use all of them. You can call me a social media junkie if you want to, but guess what? You’re reading my blog now. :)
Share Your Knowledge Freely
Sharing your passion or expertise can be as easy as sharing a status update with links to relevant content or photos of your work. You can take it a step further through blogging or vlogging (video blogging). There are many platforms where you can quickly design a blog and start sharing such as Blogger, Typepad, or Wordpress.
Have Marketing Material.
What’s a brand without marketing material? If you’re in the business of taking your career to the next level have a business card whether you’re entry-level, mid-level or C-suite level. Not a corporate card for an organization that you work for either. Your personal brand is one that you will take with you no matter who you work for. Think of the companies that you’ve worked for as your clients. Update your resume with key skills, knowledge, and accomplishments that your clients benefit from and develop a portfolio to showcase your best work.
Dare to Be Different, but be Yourself.
As you figure out the best way to build your personal brand it’s easy to get caught up in the way others do things. You might be even intimidated by the knowledge of others. That’s okay; learn from them, but stay to true to what’s unique to you. If you have an idea to showcase your brand that’s different from what others are doing, go for it! Incorporate the right marketing and your audience will find you and appreciate your uniqueness.
Now imagine getting an invitation to your high school reunion today. What would your colleagues say about you now? What would you want them to say? When it comes to your personal brand remember you create Y.O.U. (Your Own Universe).