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Personal Branding – 7 Steps to Building Your Own Image

You may already have idea about what branding means but what about Personal Branding?

It’s an aspect within my career that I’ve always known about however never really took seriously until a mentor pointed out its importance and it’s certainly a topic they don’t teach you about in school!

When you think about branding, ideas like advertising, marketing and logos generally come to mind… right? Well, yes but what about you? What makes you want to work with certain colleagues at work or at school? Personality is part of this, however personal branding is also a huge part!

What many people don’t realize is that whether they like it or not, they are their own personal brand! In order to learn more about this aspect within my own full time career in Learning & Development (Human Resources), here’s what I’ve found on creating the best personal brand for yourself… This doesn’t just apply to a corporate world, but in any industry or even daily situations in your personal life – college, university, family – anything really!

 

  1. Start thinking of yourself as a brand

No, you don’t have to create your own logo or wear a uniform (as such), however if you had people sum you up in five words – what would you want those words to be? Professional, Forward-thinking, polite, creative, great style – the list goes on and really depends on you and the industry you’re in. Once you reflect on this and decide, you can get strategic with how you create your personal brand.

Personal Branding

 

  1. Be authentic & understand yourself

Your personal brand should reflect who you are personally and professionally. Understand who you are, what you stand for, what your individual values are, strengths and weaknesses etc. People will connect with you and want to be associated with your personal brand if you are authentic and true to yourself. It can be hard to identify and pave your own pathway, but when you do people will notice. In my own career, I’ve learned the most about myself by observing others and experiencing behaviors which I don’t identify or agree with. If you’re finding it hard to understand yourself, try reflecting on things about people you don’t like and think about why.

Personal Branding Audrey

 

  1. Online Presence

This is another aspect I was in denial with – how could my social media (such as Facebook) be part of my personal brand- it’s no one’s business! Well, right to a certain extent. In today’s day and age, what is the first thing you do if you want to know about someone? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I’m guilty of this and I’ve made first impressions based on photos or status’s I’ve seen from profiles. If you don’t want something to reflect on you as a person – don’t post it, don’t share it, and don’t like it. It’s hard at first but beneficial in the long run. LinkedIn is a great tool and is basically your online resume, so keep this up to date and invest in a good head shot for your profile. It’s not a forum for photos of you and your bestie at the club – keep this professional and authentic to you and your industry – or the career pathway you want to have in the future. LinkedIn is one of the biggest forums for companies, individuals and recruiters to headhunt potential candidates.

 

Social-media

 

  1. Dress for success

As much as I hate to admit, we are in a superficial world and appearance to a certain point is needed. I work in a corporate setting, and dress accordingly (I also love wearing black and I find this really easy as it’s like my own personal uniform) – you may work in retail and need to wear the product your selling, or maybe you wear a uniform each day? Whatever it is, I would suggest understanding what you’re comfortable in, your own style and also what is suitable in your industry. It may be as simple as wearing mascara each day or even neat shoes! As superficial as this is, your appearance can go a long way to first and lasting impressions of your personal brand.

 

Personal Branding

 

  1. Find ways to produce value

Find ways to add value to audience by creating or curating content which is in line with your brand. Maybe you have a blog and provide tips aligned with your industry or personal values? Maybe you share your favorite articles, blogs or digital media which matter to you and align with your personal brand? Be true to yourself and what you think is producing value.

Career Girl One

 

  1. Associate with other strong brands

According to Forbes, your personal brand is strengthened or weakened by your connection to other brands, starting with the three C’s: company, college (university) and colleagues. They suggest looking at avenues to promote and enhance your brand via contributing and engaging with these aspects – it may be contributing to a newsletter, being part of a group for people within your industry. Communication and networking is another great way to get your personal brand out there and connect with others!

Anna Wintour & Diane Von Furstenberg

Fashion Influencers -Anna Wintour & Diane Von Furstenberg

 

  1. Reinvent

This has been a tough one for me! But hey- if it’s good for Madonna and Lady Gaga in their careers, maybe they’re onto something! It’s never easy to accept that maybe something isn’t working, however it is worth at least considering and taking others advice about you or maybe improvement points they may bring up in conversation. Take this on (swallow), accept and decide how you can use the advice to improve and reinvent your personal brand. It may be as simple as working on things one step at a time – maybe you want to focus on being more punctual (yes, that’s me) or to network more? This is entirely up to you if, when or how you reinvent your personal brand.

Personal Branding

 

 

Hopefully these steps help you in finding what your personal brand is and how it can help you each day within your career and personal life!

What has worked for you?

 

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14 Comments

  • Reply kathy

    I love this post! your advice for new bloggers like me is so inspiring and motivational 🙂

    kathy xx

    12/02/2016 at 2:16 PM
  • Reply Miranda

    I really love this – what a great reminder that WE are our biggest, and most important, BRAND. Too often I think about my blog or other things, without thinking of myself. I think that my personal brand, and the brand I’m trying to portray with my blog and social media, should match. I love this different way of thinking – thank you for sharing! 🙂

    01/03/2016 at 8:29 AM
    • Reply Black & White Insider

      Thanks Miranda! I really try to think of it exactly how you said and think about your personal brand and particularly in blogging, i think it’s so important to make sure we’re all being true to ourselves! 🙂

      01/03/2016 at 10:07 PM
  • Reply Betsy

    These are all great tips. I think it’s also important to note that you don’t have to brand yourself on day 1. Let it evolve naturally based on your style, personality, and goals. (All of which can changed over time.)

    -Betsy
    http://www.goldwilldigger.com

    01/03/2016 at 8:40 AM
    • Reply Black & White Insider

      I totally agree Betsy! It takes time and getting to know yourself first – great point! They say that a person goes through changes roughly every 7 years (last I’d read) so it’s a lot of re branding 🙂 As they say “Roam wasn’t built in a day” 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

      01/03/2016 at 10:13 PM
  • Reply Erin @ A Welder's Wife

    As a new blogger I am working on developing my brand, but I really like these tips! I think I can incorporate some into what I’m already doing! Thanks!

    Erin | http://www.awelderswife.com

    01/03/2016 at 11:27 PM
    • Reply Black & White Insider

      Thanks Erin, hope it helps 🙂 I’m quite new to blogging myself, a lot of it is learning from others! Great to connect with you!

      02/03/2016 at 12:51 PM
  • Reply Marette @ Floradise

    I agree with all of these, but especially your point about authenticity! Great reminders.

    02/03/2016 at 2:56 PM
  • Reply Lynn Quanjel

    Thanks for this blogpost! It’s very interesting to see how you can see yourself as a company in order to become more succesfull as a freelancer. I’ve been working on this for a while and this article definitely helped, thank you so much!

    xoxo lynn

    08/03/2016 at 8:56 AM
    • Reply Black & White Insider

      Thanks Lynn! Apologies for the delay in replying! It’s a hard thing to do in changing perception, but as soon as you do, you can change perception on your personal branding really quickly and effectively! xx

      29/03/2016 at 1:10 PM
  • Reply Neisha

    Thanks for this Post, we all need to pay attention to what we post in our social media which nowadays its part of our personal brand. I work in Human Rehsources too and when I as part of the recruitment process I do take a look at what people put on their social media because it gives me sense of who their are or how they carry themselves..

    17/07/2016 at 12:55 PM
  • Reply Graham @ Reverse The Crush

    Thanks for sharing! And great points. I especially liked what you said about learning more about yourself by observing what you don’t like. Smart tip. I like all your points but strongly agree authenticity is an important one. Thanks again!

    13/09/2016 at 1:21 AM
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