A friend of mine from Calgary is soaring in the IT industry and was looking for some advice on how to create his personal brand. I have been doing this for companies over 10 years now, but he made me think of branding from an individual’s perspective. I did some research and pondered on it and came up with some very interesting pointers that I shared with him. So, if you’re looking to spruce up your personal branding, here’s the list.
Decide on Your Brand Personality
The first exercise in branding is to decide on your persona. How do you want to be perceived and what do you want the persona to do for you? Once you have answered that, you can then position yourself accordingly. It is important to choose a persona that is truly you. In other words, be true to yourself. This branding is what you are choosing to live with 24/7. Do not attempt to create a fake personal brand. You should only enhance your personality and make it work for you. In this case, you cannot fake it till you make it.
Choose Your Circle
Wait, don’t go unfriending your high school friend who didn’t “make it”. You’re better than that! Choosing your circle has a deeper meaning. Surround yourself with people who radiate positivity and those who support you in your mission. Be within a circle of people with whom you can exchange ideas and encourage each other to be the best you can be. Birds of a feather flock together.
Create A Purposeful Social Media Presence
These days, if you are not on social media, you almost don’t exist. Social media is an extremely important tool of self-branding. Every post needs to be well thought out. Even if you’re going to tweet and say you’re hungry, you should find a way to link it to the brand personality you want to achieve. How? Say you want to be a ‘name’ in Information Technology and you are hungry, you can tweet to say you’re hungry and link the tweet to a very IT savvy food delivery system and say you wish restaurants in your town had the same technology. It’s important to keep it real, but at the same time have a purpose.
Network In The Real World
As evolved as we are, the strongest bond is still very much physical. It is important to make that personal, face to face connection. In today’s strong social media world, physical networking is still very relevant. Trust is built when something is tangible. Take time to attend conferences, meetings, shows or exhibitions where like-minded people gather. Exchange contact information and ideas and continue to stay in touch. When an opportunity arises, they will remember you. Computers don’t connect people, people connect people.
Read To Glory
Reading expands your horizon. Be in the know, read the news, read a intriguing novel. Reading helps shape your character. Reading is an exercise to the mind and it will keep your mind stimulated. When your mind is well stimulated and you have knowledge, networking is easier. You will be able to put your best self forward and that will strengthen your personality.
Lasting First Impressions
The last and the least important aspect of self-branding is your personal appearance. I say it’s less important only because all the other aspects are way more important. How you choose to dress or wear your hair should reflect the branding you want to create for yourself. When you aim to brand yourself, you’re putting yourself out there. It only makes sense to be dressed up before you stand on the shelf. Being pleasantly presentable will help with your self-esteem and your personality will shine through and do the magic.