How to Build Your Personal Brand
The concept of having a “personal brand” is relatively new, but the concepts behind it are based on long-known ideas. However, many people aren’t sure where to start when it comes to building and maintaining a personal brand. Here are a few tips for getting started.
Take an Inventory of Yourself
Your personal brand is meant to be exactly that: personal. While it can be tempting to try to create an idealized brand, try to identify your strengths, and take an honest assessment where you can improve. Your personal brand should be fairly easy identify and remember, and presenting a brand that’s too complicated can make it difficult to convey. It’s worth noting that your personal branding won’t stay static, so know you can adjust it as time passes.
It’s relatively uncommon for individuals in many fields to have websites, which makes having a website a great way to establish a strong brand. Potential employers are likely to visit your website, and it can be a great way to convey things about yourself that can be difficult to share on a resume or during a typical interview. Website domains are fairly cheap, and various hosting platforms make it easy to set up a blog where you can talk about yourself, your accomplishments, your goals, and your general thoughts about your industry or interests. Social media platforms are great resources for sharing thoughts as well.
Keep on Learning
No matter how your build your personal brand, you’ll want to emphasize at least one factor: competency. Hiring managers ultimately want employees who can get the job done, and remaining a student to your industry ensures that you’re always improving. Subscribe to Google Alerts, and bookmark relevant news sites related to your industry. Make a habit of catching up on the latest factors in your field, and spend some time thinking about how changes can affect your position within your field. Introspection and knowledge are necessary for effectively building your brand. Embrace the joy of being a student for life.
Share Your Thoughts in Real Life
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate an interest in your field, and build your brand, is to share your thoughts. Attending conferences is a great way to start as it provides excellent opportunities for meeting people in your field and networking; just make sure to bring along some business cards. Send pitches for speeches, and trust yourself to speak up at gatherings. Over time, in-person engagement builds you reputation, shows your enthusiasm, and helps support your personal brand.
Chris Burch is a venture capitalist.