Having a personal brand identity allows a professional to show the world what he or she is about as an individual employee.
By building a personal brand it can show the skills and qualities that someone has, defining what makes them important or different.
In a competitive world, it is very important that individuals are able to find an edge on their competition.
Now, more employees have the opportunity to build their unique online brand thanks to social media and the efforts of companies who realize how important it is to their business.
Yet, as a professional employee, you may be against creating a brand personality or developing your brand identity, You might just be unsure of why you should have one, or even where to start.
Here’s Why You Need a Personal Brand Identity
Personal branding gives you all the control and power. If a person is well-connected and trusted by customers, peers, and co-workers they are more likely to be respected by their employer.
Employees can create impressive social media profiles to showcase their ability, connections, and interest.
You can achieve professional autonomy by creating a brand that proves your value and worth as an expert. And strong professional can be part of a strong team to make a stronger company.
Personal branding allows you to show what matters to YOU. Your brand image becomes about the skills and interests you have and are interested in, not what your job or environment might have dictated.
If you’re lucky, your job and your interests will intersect.
You might think that avoiding having a social media presence altogether is the answer; after all, no information is good information, right?
But you won’t be better off avoiding a professional role on social media – you will just be limiting yourself and your potential for growth.
Instead, use social media as an opportunity to brand yourself, show professionalism, and prove a value in the industry. This visibility could result in unexpected opportunities or a professional advantage down the road.
Establishing and Achieving Goals
A personal brand helps determine who you are and where you are going. Without clear direction, you might get stuck in the rut of your current path.
And your branding identity will help you consider how you define your current place and where you want to be in the near-distant future.
In order to get to a place you feel proud of, you need to have specific goals laid out. Goals that aren’t clearly defined and measurable are doomed to fail.
Personal branding gives each professional the opportunity to pinpoint where he or she wants to go and how that could be accomplished with checkpoint goals along the way.
Everyone wants to advance their career, right? You don’t want to stay in the same position forever, never learning, never growing.
When employees build a strong brand identity, it provides the opportunity to work on improving their own value and edge on a personal level.
The person who is concerned with their public presence is better able to make waves that will get them noticed down the road.
It is far more difficult and offers far less impact if you build a brand at the last minute due to need, rather than building a brand over a long period of time with a small measure of foresight.
Increase Exposure for Your Employer
While the majority of the above focus on you (the point of PERSONAL brand), you also can benefit your employer. Whether that is intentional or not.
When you are posting content online, sharing ideas, attend conferences and networking meetings you are repping your company.
This helps your company’s brand positioning, reach, exposure, and audiences tend to trust the product or services more when they see strong personal branding and representation.
Related: If you are a company leader, manager or executive, have you considered harnessing the power of your greatest resource—your employees—to accelerate your social media strategy? Download Transforming Your Employees Into Thought Leaders.
9 Ways to Develop Your Personal Brand Identity Through Social
People with strong personal brands get access to great opportunities. They stick in people’s minds and are the first considered when someone needs an expert in their field.
Want to unlock your personal brand potential? Here are nine ways social media is key to boosting your personal brand:
1. Claim your name.
Claim your presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and your own personal site. Use the platforms’ options to create easy links. You want to make your profession existence easy to find and remember.
2. Position yourself as a thought leader.
Do you have special niche knowledge? Access to information before anyone else? Define yourself by the niche where you excel. Write content, share blog posts with commentary, engage others content, etc. You have to start building an online presence and build brand awareness.
3. Promote colleagues in your industry.
People love to help the people who help them. When one of your colleagues posts something particularly insightful, wins a promotion or is scheduled for a big deal appearance, mention it on social media. When it’s your turn to shine, those you’ve promoted will shine the spotlight on you.
4. Answer people’s questions.
When you see someone ask a question about your industry, take a few minutes to answer. Quora, for instance, allows you to create alerts for questions that you may be able to answer. You can also search or browse Twitter looking for places where you can be of use or find your target market.
5. Post frequently.
It’s not enough to create a social media account. You should be posting frequently to keep yourself in front of people’s eyes. Don’t overdo it; more than a few posts a day will turn followers off.
6. Create visual continuity.
Use the same profile photo or photos taken in the same session on all of your social media pages. Create a color palette and use it throughout networks. The visual cues will cause people to make unconscious associations and create a stronger recognition of you and your visual brand identity.
7. Do live coverage of events.
Attending an industry conference? Tweet insightful bits from talks, photos from the convention floor and links to speakers’ books and other assets. Be sure to use a consistent hashtag so people can follow the story all day.
8. Go multimedia.
Don’t just post text updates. Incorporate photos, infographics, and videos for a more well-rounded feed. People like visual information and will be more likely to follow you if you provide it.
9. Create a clear and consistent message across channels.
Make a list of the qualities that you want people to associate with your personal brand. Then, when you post, remember to stay on message to reinforce that brand.
Example, a personal organizer could post photos of perfectly curated closets and share blog posts about decluttering challenges.
A brand isn’t built overnight. It takes time, commitment and consistency to build awareness and an audience.
But, by being helpful, recognizable and creating worthwhile contributions, you can build the strength of your brand and open up a world of opportunities.