If you were a brand, what would people say about you?
Have you just started your own business recently? Working as a freelancer? Or even in an existing company? It doesn’t matter what field or in which position you work, the important part is what other people see and think about you. Being successful it is not enough to create a great brand, you have to be a great brand as well. This is the ethos of the self-branding.
But what is that exactly?
Self-branding is the art of making people see what you want them to see about yourself. Your career is not predetermined – you can have an influence on it. Not only a small one, but big a one. Let’s look at a really simple example. What do you do if you want to know more about a product that you’re interested in buying? You go to Google and start to write the name of it, don’t you? There you can get anything including reviews, ratings, potential malfunctions, prices etc. Of course all the big companies, regardless of the topic, want to be seen as the perfect solution for your needs. It is not just an opportunity nowadays, but a must. If a company, be it your local pub or even a large multinational, doesn’t have a website, then this may cause people to become skeptical or put off the product, as most people want know more about things before they get in contact with them.
Welcome to the digital age and the consumer society.
I think you’ve got what I wanted to say. So now let’s see how these two things are connected. For your personal brand, one of the most important steps is the first impression. You barely have the chance to make a first impression twice. No matter is you employed, a manager, freelancer or even in the middle of a job search. The only thing that matters is the first impression. What would your potential business partner think about you? Or your boss? Or the person from the HR department who will screen your CV and decide if you get your dream job or not? As I said it is a digital age. They will have the first impression based on what they see online. They can type your name into Google, check your profile on Linkedin or even take a look at the websites of your former or present companies that you work at. Nowadays a business card doesn’t say too much about you. People don’t buy products because of nice detailed descriptions. People buy them because they love the way how it was sold to them – the impression of the product. Why wouldn’t it work for you? I know not everyone was born to the most extroverted person in this world, but your digital footprint is a business card can tell people a lot more about you.
So what can you do?
Have a Website
Every brand, politician, manager etc., has a website. You can live without one of course, but it’s not worth it to let the opportunity to form people’s opinions about you how you would like slip you by. You don’t have to be a web-designer to create a website as there are plenty of options available, from a Worpress site to a custom website builder. You need only some basic understanding, a bit of picture editing skills and a bit of spare time. Now, after creating your own site, if someone types your name into Google, he or she will be able to see the information about you, that you, want them to see. It could be your bio, successful campaigns, projects or even some of your self-shot pictures of the landscape, which will show that there is a person on the other site of the wire.
Be Social and Professional
Social presence is an essential part of your online presence. Why exactly? People are spending more and more time on different social media networks for a variety of reasons, such as to entertain themselves, connect with new people or even to get some new information. Social media sites are the second biggest search engines.
Decide where you want to be seen. You definitely cannot be on every corner of the internet, but if you decide to be somewhere, then show your best. Don’t forget that Facebook is not the only website. Google Plus is getting a bigger and bigger influence, in more serious and professional topics. Linkedin offers you specifically selected groups where you can learn from others and share your ideas – it’s a place to shine. Do you use your camera all the time? Instagram and Pinterest are growing extremely fast, and visual content is the best to grab people’s attention.
Customize. Fill in every field that you find. If you have a LinkedIn profile (you should have) you can even choose your personal URL address, which is a great advantage.
Get connected. The Internet is not a place where you should be modest. Know your limits, but it is a platform where you can promote yourself. To help increase your audience, find an influential person, target their ego, and wake up their interest. Every field of specialization has something interesting. Your task is to find the right balance between entertainment and professionalism, and which enable you to show your skills.
Never forget the offline presence
Okay you are the king of the internet. Now what? You cannot be the savviest professional on the planet, and work in garage. Always pay attention to your outfit, use of words and always have a business card with you, which is simple, creative and one that people will remember. There are always never and never techniques out there, so watch, listen, read, learn and win.