Personal brand has been a buzzword for some time now. So does that make it an actual ‘thing’?
In reality it’s just a snazzy word for your reputation. Everyone has a reputation whether online or offline – some people are known for being experts in a particular field, others are known for having a humorous approach to how they communicate and in other cases it’s a combination of several things. It really is who you are.
Having a solid and respected personal brand is beneficial at the best of times, but in this almost exclusively digital world, it could be the difference between nabbing your dream job and not. Being able to showcase your personality and allowing people to “get to know” before they meet you can be a huge advantage.
As much as we’d like it to, coronavirus isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future. The result is a hugely competitive job market and increasing rates of unemployment. While this might seem bleak, your personal brand could be your biggest tool for ensuring you stand out. If you are an expert in something (and everyone is an expert in their chosen career, right?) or feel passionate about a topic, trend or issue you can use your personal brand to showcase yourself.
On that note, we’re here to give you three tips on how to build a successful personal brand.
This might go without saying, but LinkedIn is the perfect space to be able to show your level of expertise and knowledge. Write articles, make videos, record podcasts, host a virtual workshop, engage with content from others, have an opinion – you get the idea.
If you’re an IT infrastructure professional, make sure your content is focussed on this space alone. You don’t want to be known as someone who has an opinion on everything, but you do want to be known as someone who has an opinion on all things IT infrastructure – you want to be that guy. But don’t be robotic, be you, make sure your personality shines through.
When recruiters/hiring managers are looking over job applications, LinkedIn is likely to be one of the first places they’re going to look to verify your level of expertise. Do you claim to be an expert in cloud migration? If you’ve recently written, shared or engaged with an article about it, that’s a pretty good indication that you know what you’re talking about.
Doing the above is a great way to virtually network. Given that we can’t network in person yet, engaging with others online and adding value to their conversations is a great way to get your name out there and maximise your connections. You don’t always need to be the conversation starter but you should try and be involved in them. You never know who might have the next job opportunity for you!
Coronavirus has changed everyone’s working life in one way or another. For many it was as drastic as losing their job, for others it was adapting to working from home. However it was that you were affected, you want to show that you rose to the challenge and came out on top. With the uncertainty of the future, employers will be looking for someone who can deal with the changing way of the world, so showing you’re adaptable should be a key trait of your personal brand. In that sense as when, showing vulnerability is not a bad thing, people are able to relate to it and will buy into you a lot more.
So how do you do this? You’ve got a few options. Include a section on your CV/resume on how you responded to coronavirus. Write a short post on LinkedIn. Mention it when you have job interviews.
And if you struggled to adapt to the changing way of the world, then it’s all a learning curve. Think about what you could have done differently, and how you can use this moving forward. Self-reflection is essential for development and growth, while also showing you can be genuine and honest with yourself.
As humans, we want to avoid failure as much as possible – that’s natural. But the reality is that in order to push yourself one step ahead of the crowd, you’re going to fail a few times.
Most successes don’t come first time around – there’s a lot of trial and error involved. Take any successful brand/person/business and all of them will have stories of trying things that didn’t work.
Walt Disney experienced countless failures throughout his career, but instead of getting him down, he learnt from it. ‘It is good to have a failure while you’re young because it teaches you so much’ says Disney. ‘For one thing, it makes you aware that such a thing can happen to anybody, and once you’ve lived through the worst, you’re never quite as vulnerable afterwards.”
We worry about what people may think but those that are able to get past that hurdle of fear will connect with those who they want to start building relationships with. The others don’t really matter.
And surely, the only thing worst than failing is never trying in the first place?
Do you think you’ve got an awesome personal brand? We’d love to see it! If you need help building your own personal brand, or have any other ideas on ways to do this, feel free to get in touch.
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