Every day, editors publish content about personal branding and identity all over the web. These articles vary from purely self-promotional to truly helpful advice. Today we are taking a look at couple articles on personal branding to understand how to best develop your personal identity online. Top image features Duygu Donertas‘ page.
The first of today’s articles is titled “Dear Shannon: Can my personal brand land me a sustainability job? “ by Shannon Houde.
The post is written as a response to a job-seeker in need of advice. To provide help finding a challenging new job, the author lays out a comprehensive approach to personal branding. The format of this article is an answer to a specific question, but advice can easily be generalized to anyone wishing to improve their brand. The starting point looks like this:
Getting started requires some soul searching. You need to know the following three things:
1. Who you are: The authentic you
2. What you are offering: Your knowledge and skills
3. Who you are targeting: Your audience
Don’t be intimidated by the ‘soul searching’ part, you already know most of the answers. Equipped with these three answers, you’ll have an easier time building your brand and communicating your professional talents to others. One often-overlooked part of honing your personal brand is identifying your target audience:
“Defining your target audience will get you clearer about what you have to offer because you will see what their backgrounds, interests and knowledge areas are and be able to draw a connection to them”
The knowledge of what interests your audience or new contact is essential. Professionally and personally, this information can help accelerate making connections by streamlining the getting-to-know-you awkwardness. Ask any interview: speaking directly to your new contact’s interests is a massive advantage when seeking a job.
In a more general business setting, knowing your audience is a fundamental part of properly conveying your skill set or services. Please follow the link to read the article in its entirety. If you’ve found the above passage valuable at all, there is much more in the original article.
Now We’re in Business
Next up is ”The Definitive Guide To Building Your Personal Brand” from Forbes. There are a few sites that routinely publish good content about online identity and personal branding, and Forbes is among the best.
This article is primarily targeted at people who run businesses, either solo or within a company. The advice is valuable, and the author presents a solid argument for a business owner to build their own personal brand:
“when considering small ticket items that are consumer goods such as toothbrushes or toilet paper, the vast majority of buyers are not interested in the company’s CEO. But for smaller businesses, service oriented firms, B2B companies, and artisan B2C companies, the owner’s brand is absolutely critical.”
Even if you work for a large company, don’t be hesitant to take time focusing on your identity online. It’s good for your personal opportunities in the long term, but it will also pay dividends for the company.
In your work, your interactions are with individuals – real people who have passions, families, and careers of their own. As covered in the first article, a well-developed personal brand or online identity will help people relate to you.
Business contacts should not have to greet you as a stranger, it’s to your benefit if they feel more comfortable connecting. Don’t overlook the value of providing contacts with context (aka your personal brand). Another great tip from this article:
“social media accounts that feature the logos of businesses tend to perform poorly compared to those that feature a friendly face.”
So true! In general, we are all much more likely to pay attention to a real person than a brand. Massive brands spend millions of dollars to make themselves seem personal & likable, you can get those results for free. Add a personal touch to your social interactions- avoid the brand avatars. There’s much more information in the original article to be found here.