What is personal branding and why is it important?
It’s the art of marketing yourself and your work, like how a brands market themselves. There are entire courses dedicated to it, and even celebrities do it. It offers a way to show authenticity and make connections. Personal branding can enhance your employability by increasing your credibility; a well-defined personal brand helps when establishing yourself as a thought leader and helps to build a positive reputation.
With today’s technology, it’s important to translate this personal branding and showcasing of work through to social platforms. Here’s some handy tips on personal branding:
Make sure, before anything else, that your socials are active. This doesn’t mean you have to post several times per day but posting a few times a week and engaging with others through social media will work wonders for keeping yourself at top-of-mind.
Personal brand audit
What does your social media content and general presence say about you? Update your social media, both content and ‘about’ sections to check if they present a consistent message and image that your happy with. If you’re not, switch things up and see what’s working with your audience through some AB testing.
Personal branding goals
Goals will allow you home in on what you want and can help understand distractions halting productivity towards these goals. Your goals will most often be to gain awareness, build trust, and earn loyalty. These personal branding goals may be related to your career, education, family, community, finances, health, and hobbies. Be sure to frame your goals as ‘SMART’ (Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely).
Here’s an example: “Increase awareness amongst women aged 25-30 by 20%, by February.”
Create original content
Be sure that the content you post is original, this doesn’t mean you can’t share posts thought, just provide a fresh perspective, or contribute to the conversation surrounding the content.
You’ll generally want to follow this content ratio:
· 25% about you - who you are and what you do.
· 25% sharing other people or brand’s relevant posts, blogs, websites, etc.
· 40% interacting and engaging with people on important, relevant topics.
· 10% advertising products or services you love, that are offered by your brand.
Find your niche and publicise your expertise
Really get down into the nitty gritty details of who your audience is, what they like, where they communicate, and who they communicate with, etc. Dig deep in this section; for example, on Reddit you'll notice there are boards for literally every possible topic, and within those topics are subdivisions of that topic, similarly to this you need to find out which specific sub-topics these audience want to learn about. Within these spaces and super-niche areas are where you'll want to shine.
Engage with your network
It's not just about the content on your own social pages, engage with others in your extended network, comment on new work they may have published, discuss news-worthy relevant events and the implications faced by people within your industry. Try to make sure your responsive to customers in chat but also on page feeds and in the comments sections. Try to think about your positive interactions with brands, why they meant something to you, and then aim to recreate these feelings with your message alignment.
Advocate for your organisation
By advocating for network organisations, which are those you work for and with, you'll be highlighting yourself as someone who's interested in the field that they work in; It shows off authenticity and trustworthiness. But since you’re dealing with organisations so close to home, just remember to keep things light.