We all know what a corporate brand is – but what its a personal brand and how do you use one? According to WikiHow “A ‘personal brand’ is in many ways synonymous with your reputation. It refers to the way other people see you as a business owner or representative of an idea, organization, or activity.”
Personal brands are part of an overall career plan. They are about identifying long-term goals and creating a toolkit or roadmap to achieve them. It starts with defining a professional image that mirrors your reputation and how you want to be perceived.
I always say a resume has a tough job. It has to convey a lot of information in a small amount of space and allows for ZERO fun. I mean “Reference available upon request” ??? Psh.
Social media on the other hand, gives you a voice. It allows you to talk about who you are, not just what you have done and for how long. You are able to promote professional recommendations, speak to your volunteer work, highlight leadership in professional associations, post examples of your work, tout awards or scholarships, etc. all in one place. COOL! You may be doing all of the aforementioned things now, but if you aren’t letting people know, all of that good stuff is lost. And those who do promote this additional information will be sought out, not you.
People are scouring social media platforms daily looking for ideas and information. Below is a short list of different ways social media is currently used:
- Non profits or industry groups seeking board or committee members
- Conference planners seeking speakers or presenters
- Prospective customers looking to buy your products or services
- Journalists looking for sources
And guess what…if you join a board, speak at a conference, close a sale or are quoted as an expert in a news story, you have further promoted and validated your professional brand. Now that is what I’m talking about!!
Defining your professional brand is an investment in your future. Take the time, you’re worth it!