Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Chad Storlie
Creating a positive, professional identity in the business world can seem like a daunting task. The challenge is to create a personal brand that represents your identity and your accomplishments. Personal branding is about finding, advertising, and truly representing your accomplishments and potential to others so that you can create more success and accomplish your goals. Your brand is how you help the world and help yourself in a way that is open, connected, personal, and caring.
Social media and blogging can help you establish and promote your own personal brand. Follow these tips to help capture and express your personal brand and demonstrate what you can do for others.
Give Your Social Media Accounts the Same Look and Feel.
Your social media sites need to look, feel, and appear the same. No matter if someone finds you on Twitter, Facebook, or your website, you provide the same professional image and representation to all your followers. Think of yourself as a product on a store shelf. You want to be instantly recognizable, represent trust and quality, and fully demonstrate your professional qualities. Keep your postings on social media professional, to the point, and avoid controversial and unprofessional comments that may reflect poorly. Keep in mind that every posting will follow you for life.
Become a Subject Matter Expert and a Thought Leader.
An expert or an industry thought leader is someone who has something consistently new and practical to state about a particular field of study, a social issue, a specific industry, or an occupational field. Follow other industry experts and thought leaders in your area of expertise on social media. Finally, start to write and publish articles and small observations in newspapers, on professional journals, and industry newsletters. Link and use all of your social media platforms to distribute your written content and help other thought leaders do the same. This way, no matter what social media platform you use, it will link to all of your written and professional content. Remember that being a leader is about leading, not recognition. Accolades can sometimes take years to come.
Start or Continue a Blog.
Blogs are one of the primary ways to demonstrate your presence, creativity, and longevity as an expert. Blogs are written and graphic contributions to your personal brand that demonstrate your insight, creativity, leadership, and beliefs on thought-provoking and challenging issues related to your area of expertise. Blogging should also be cross-promoted across different blogging platforms such as Medium, LinkedIn and others – post content to where your readers are and encourage everyone to share.
Take On or Find Special Projects.
Special projects for your community or created by your own initiative are an amazing avenue to promote and demonstrate your personal brand. In order to describe the full impact of special projects, set out to tell a story using both words and pictures. Let the pictures highlight the before, during, and after results that really show the improvement. The words must describe the journey to success: (1) What was the problem you discovered, (2) what were the challenges to make it better, (3) how did you initially fail, (4) what was the successful solution, and (5) what did you learn.
Write For Print and Online Publications.
Writing for both online and traditional media is an excellent way to demonstrate your personal brand, but it can take a while. Blogging is the best way to start to get noticed and submitting stories and story ideas directly to editors is the next best idea. Editors need well-written content to remain relevant in the fast news cycle of the Internet. Providing good content to publications helps your brand and helps editors remain relevant.
Maintain a Good Personal Website.
A good personal website should highlight your contributions, what your personal brand represents, and it should remain timeless so it is a true representation of your own personal contributions. The website design should be simple, mobile-friendly, and direct visitors where they can learn more about you, access your blogs, see examples of your work, learn about projects you completed, and know how to contact you. Great websites need to be content-rich so people will return to them frequently and use your website as a resource in their lives.
Post Regularly Across Social Media.
Social media posts are best when they are direct, precisely written, exceedingly professional, and each and every post builds your personal brand in some small way. Various social media aggregator platforms can help this process greatly by helping you organize content and then posting throughout the day.
Building a personal brand takes time, dedication, and an intense desire to care for your customers by delivering content that is fresh, new, and exciting.