How to Build a Personal Brand
Whether you’re a medical resident trying to stand out amongst your peers or an executive aiming to develop your career trajectory, the power of personal branding cannot be understated.
Building a brand in today’s ever-evolving digital landscape comes with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities. Knowing how to craft a genuine personal image that will resonate with audiences is essential in making yourself noticed for the right reasons.
In this post, we’ll provide practical advice on building your own personal brand from scratch–including leveraging social media platforms, using professional branding photography, understanding your target audience, and increasing your visibility.
By implementing even just some of these tips into your game plan, you can create a powerful presence that will boost both exposure and credibility within any organization you’re involved with.
Create Strong and Complete Social Profiles
First of all, it’s important to make profiles on all the top social media platforms–this includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These platforms have the most number of users, so they make the best options for personal branding and brand awareness.
However, when you sign up on each of these platforms, you need to ensure professionalism and expertise in every aspect. Create a professional username, fill in all the work relevant details, and write a compelling bio.
Make sure to clearly state who you are, what you do, and what your core beliefs are. Remember that your personal brand should be a true representation of your work identity; don’t fall victim to the ‘fake it till you make it’ approach.
Get a Professional Headshot
No matter how much people claim to not judge someone by their looks, the sad reality is that almost everyone judges a book by its cover, whether consciously or unconsciously. This is especially true in the professional world.
So, never use a selfie, landscape image, or an animated avatar as your profile picture. Get a corporate headshot from a reputable branding photographer like Duane Furlong that will make you appear professional, reliable, and friendly to colleagues, partners, and potential recruiters.
In addition, when you have a professional headshot as your social profile picture, people tend to take you more seriously and perceive you as an industry expert. This helps build credibility and allows you to gather more followers and take your personal brand to new heights.
If you have the budget, you can go a step further and book a personal branding photography session and use those pictures online–be sure to keep in mind that a personal branding session is different from a headshot!
Understand Your Target Audience
Your target audience is the group of people who are most likely to purchase your services or collaborate with you. This may include recruiters, niche followers, community groups, or students who are interested in what you do.
If you are finding it difficult to find your target audience, use these questions to develop an ideal client profile:
- What is their age, profession, and average income?
- What are their goals and aspirations (and what can you offer to help them achieve these)?
- What are their pain points, and how can you help them?
Offer (Free) Value
Once you have created social media profiles and identified your audience, it’s time to focus on content creation. Remember that your posts need to solve the problems of your target audience and give them what they want.
For example, if you are a graphic designer who wants to increase their authority and gain more followers, create educational posts rather than selling your services. Provide people value by sharing insights about graphic designing techniques and methods.
When you will start doing that, people will automatically assume you are an authority and follow you for more free education. Potential recruiters will also consider you to be an ideal candidate.
Focus on Increasing Your Visibility
Lastly, it’s time to increase your visibility. There are many ways to do this, and some of them are pretty technical. For example, search engine optimization and Facebook marketing require considerable expertise to execute properly.
One easy way to gain visibility is to partner with other people trying to build a personal brand in your industry. This way, you will divert some of their audience to your personal brand. You can do this by giving interviews, recording podcasts, attending public-speaking events, guest blogging, and running affiliate partnerships.