As I work with clients and companies, brand often comes into the conversation very early. You see, your brand is the starting basis point of how anyone perceives you. It is when they decide who you are and if they want to work with you. It seems common sense right? Then why do so many neglect their own personal brand?
Think about it, how do you stand out from the crowd? What will make others want to meet you? What exactly makes you different?
When working with others, I often make impressions based off of what I see in a person’s personal brand both online and in person. Clients and businesses are using your brand to make initial judgements. Hiring managers are watching what you do and say. Your peers are viewing how you put yourself out there. I believe that a consistent personal brand can either make you or break you. Manage your brand consistently and you will open doors.
Here are a few quick tips that will help you along the way…
- Be Professional. Your brand is all YOU and if you want your online presence to represent you professionally, think about ALL the places you might be seen and work to ensure that what you are saying, posting, and doing all reflect how you want to be perceived. And yes, that means party pics, children’s images, couples shots all do not have a place in your online presence. Save that for Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn should be maintained as a professional portal of you. Twitter can be a blend, when appropriate and when it is not overdone.
- Be Consistent. Make sure that no matter where you are viewed, online or in person that your brand is consistent with your mannerisms and actual behaviors. You can tailor personal and professional brands across different networks and audiences, just remember to be consistent along the way. Say the same thing, share the same message.
- Be Secure-Manage Permissions. All online applications now have settings where you can control who sees your content. Ensure that what you have posted online is shared with the right audience by managing your permissions and monitoring them on an ongoing basis. Networks makes updates all the time, with each update, always make sure your permissions still apply.
- Be Creative. There are so many applications and so many ways to creatively showcase the personal and professional sides of your brand. Use these tools as an outlet to highlight the areas where you can shine. Online portfolios, sharing project work, and sharing hobbies are all great ways to show the reader more about your brand.
Whether you are looking for a job or working with clients, your personal brand could make or break the impressions you share with the audiences you want to interact with. Be sure that you are managing that brand in a way that positively reflects you and your talents.
Last, but certainly not least, be that person you portray in your brand and do so with integrity. By doing so, you will maintain a reputation where others will want to work with you and trust in the work you do.
Make them want to pick you out of the crowd!