The world of recruiting has never been so competitive, clients and candidates alike will form their opinion of you from a quick google search before even meeting you. So investing your time into your own personal brand is the smartest career move you can make right now.
First things first, if you’re wondering why this even matters, well, whether you’re building your business, on the job hunt or feel like you’ve hit a dead-end, trust us when we say that working on your personal brand will help your business brand alongside.
The truth is that you probably already have a personal brand. If you have a LinkedIn profile, then congratulations, your first step to having a professional voice has already been done. But the real question is, how do you build that personal brand into something huge?
Don’t worry. Video production specialists, Standby Productions, who work alongside CEOs and business execs on building their visual personal brand on a regular basis, are here to help. Let’s get started.
1. Start now
Don’t wait for the opportunity to magically present itself. There’s no point putting off building your brand as it’s not going to happen overnight, so you may as well get as much of a head start as possible.
The following points will help you get going, so even if you’re stuck, you won’t be for long. Having a personal brand, especially in today’s competitive market, is essential for a long and successful career, so get going!
2. Have values
And stick to them, of course. But don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way
At the end of the day, your values – and the actions you take on the back of those – are a huge part of who you are, both personally and professionally. Take some time to think about what values you hold most dear; what defines you? What is truly important to you? Once you have a list (not too long, mind you) prioritize them according to which you hold in the highest regard.
Simon Owen, Managing Director of Standby Productions, weighs in here: “If you enjoy what you do, the clients enjoy working with you and you enjoy coming into work every day. And that becomes the culture.”
3. Find your niche
What is it that sets you apart from your biggest competitors? Why should a client choose you over them?
Having a niche in mind helps your values and your personal brand stick. Have a think about some of the most well-known personal brands in the world and consider what makes them memorable. Oprah may have hosted one of the most successful talk shows on television, but her brand was built on her innate ability to empathize. Steve Jobs is famous for Apple, but his niche was as a visionary for new technology.
So what helps you stand out?
4. Be passionate
If you’re an employee and you don’t love what you do, it’s pretty evident to those around you. Well, imagine how clear it is if you’re in charge.
Look at the cosmetics company, Lush. Each of their staff members absolutely adores the store, its products and everything the business stands for. Now take a look at the Instagram of their co-founder Mark Constantine; the pictures are filled to the brim with products and pictures with the staff. That is a guy who loves what he does and what he’s built.
So be more like Mark. Rediscover your passion for your industry, why did you take this career path in the first place? Find the things that make you want to get up every morning and do a fantastic job, and then let that shine through everything you do.
5. Put yourself out there
In today’s digital world, crafting and maintaining a personal brand is pretty much impossible without the use of content marketing, PR and social media. But putting yourself out there online is so much more than sending a few tweets every now and then.
It’s important that you position yourself as an expert in your field. People need to view you as the go-to person for any and all questions regarding your industry, and that doesn’t come without hard work at getting your name in front of people.
You need to be writing and speaking about issues that are at the forefront of your field. Have a personal or company blog where you write thought-leadership posts, secure speaking engagements and industry conferences, contribute to articles for big publications, or host a webinar or training session, or produce videos that focus on the latest trends and challenges that are emerging.
Did you know that video on social platforms is on the rise? Almost two out of three (61%) marketers plan to use video content on these channels in 2019, up from 55% the previous year. But make sure that the content you’re producing mirrors your brand, so be as professional as possible, if that warrants a professional crew, get them in!
Next, use social media to get these efforts in front of as many people as possible. Have a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook account at the very least, maybe even an Instagram. Promote everything you write across all your channels and engage with other peoples’ posts – comment, don’t just like – and you’ll slowly start to see your numbers creep up. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
But that’s not enough. Simon says it’s also important for you to trust in yourself before you expect others to: “Having self-belief in your own visions, if it feels strong and right, people will want to listen to you. If you don’t believe in yourself and your own brand it’s very hard to build that trust within your sector.”
6. Keep it going and adapt along the way
Building a successful personal brand isn’t going to happen overnight. And it’s not going to benefit from a couple of weeks of sustained effort and then no activity for weeks. Personal brands fail for many reasons, but we guarantee that one of the most common is because people don’t keep it up.
Be consistent. Post regularly and keep generating content. Even if you don’t hear from a journalist after writing a comment, don’t give up. Keep reaching out and getting your name out there. Even if it takes 100 rejections, as long as you keep using your industry knowledge and writing coherently, you’ll start to build yourself a strong reputation.
One final word from Simon: “Adapt your creativity as a technician at the front-end to becoming creative as a business owner. This transition to thinking about delivering business concepts will help open your mind-set to success”
About the author: Megan Crehan, content manager of The Audit Lab, started her copywriting career after graduating from the University of Leeds with a degree in Broadcast Journalism, and jumped headfirst into the world of digital marketing.