How to build your personal brand—from A to Z – Info PR
This article originally ran on PR Daily in July of 2017.
Your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not around.
It is how the world sees you, your reputation, who you are, what you value
and your unique perspective on the world. In today’s digital age, personal
branding is not optional.
A powerful personal brand can steer your online identity and influence the
perception other people have about you. It can help you earn a promotion, a
new job, a new client, or a new speaking opportunity.
By establishing yourself as an expert on certain topics, you can become a
“go-to” source of information. Creating your successful personal brand will
require time and effort, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Follow this A to Z guide:
No one should manage your personal brand but you. We are all chief
executive officers (CEOs) of our own companies; your job is to be chief
marketing officer (CMO) of the
brand known as You.
It’s important today to distinguish between your personal and professional
brands by understanding your audience. One easy
way to balance personal and professional personae is through your bio. For example, your bio on LinkedIn will be different from your Facebook
profile. Most likely, some followers will investigate all your social media
accounts, so you must decide whom you “let in” to your social networks by
accepting or ignoring their connection requests. You must balance your
personal and professional brands so your digital body language conveys what
you want others to know.
It is important to create compelling, entertaining and helpful content
through your blog and/or by
submitting content as a guest contributor to other publications orblogs. By providing a consistent amount of content over time, you will earn a
reputation as an expert on your subject area.
Think of the Internet as a copy machine. It is easy to replicate but tough
to delete. For example, social media platforms such as Twitter are easy to
delete, whereas others (such as Pinterest) are impossible. If you don’t
like what you see online, try using tools such as justdelete.me.
If you were in the elevator with a potential employer or the CEO of your
company, could you tell that person who you are in 30 seconds or less? That
is your elevator pitch. Develop yours, and practice it until it’s second
Is personal branding a fad? Nope. Look at the
growth of the words “personal brand” in Google Trends from 2004 to the present. In a survey of hiring managers,
favored. To beat your competition and find that dream job, you need a strong
personal brand. Your company should help your build one; if not, think
about leaving that company for that one that will. According to Fast
personal branding is essential to career success.
Gratitude and generosity make people remember you. Being noticed is vital in building your personal brand. Generosity builds
positive feelings for you, opening the door to new opportunities and
A habit, good or bad, is something you don’t think about doing. Cultivate
good habits like exercise, helping others, being proactive and developing
leadership skills. Learn the
10 habits for building a personal brand.
Your personal brand helps you define and communicate who you are through
several key components: who you are, what you do, why you do it, your
[RELATED: Join us in San Jose for the Brand Storytelling & Content Marketing Conference at Intel.]
Your brand will tell employers why you are a good fit for their company and
how you can help them reach their business objectives. Your personal brand
must shine in your résumé, your cover letter and your online presence, such
as your LinkedIn profile or your personal website.
Your personal brand is essential for getting a job.
Keep it simple, stupid. If you understand a topic, you know how to explain
it simply. People who have strong personal brands can communicate complex
topics in simple terms. Learn the
10 ways to use the K.I.S.S. principle to simplify your life.
LinkedIn demonstrates what you are all about, and it shows others what your
colleagues think about you in a professional way (via recommendations and
how to optimize your LinkedIn profile in 10 steps.
Your personal brand is changing daily, so manage it just as a company
manages its brand. Keep tabs on it. Do the tough work up front, such as
crafting your elevator pitch and
updating your LinkedIn profile, so you can reap future rewards.
A person’s name is powerful, yet it’s
one of the most unexploited tools in personal branding. If your name is common, it is more difficult to brand yourself, so you
may want to use your middle name (think Samuel L. Jackson, Michael J. Fox, Stephen A. Smith) or your
professional career (think @prsarahevans).
As part of
personal branding 101, the overall goal is to differentiate yourself in the marketplace so you
can attain your objectives. What are your goals? Define those so you can
better distinguish yourself from the pack.
To be hired, you must first be found.
The more proactive you are in managing your personal brand, the more
control you have over your career. Launch a blog, update your LinkedIn
profile, create your bio, build your network, get a new headshot, update
your personal website, or learn new skills.
Check in on your personal brand and online identity, at least once every
three months. It could be as simple as
emailing your network. Build a feedback loop with friends, family, colleagues and others you
trust to help you polish and refine your personal brand.
Do you Google yourself and find that another person with your same name
pops on the screen? If your answer to that question is “yes,” you
should monitor and be proactive about your personal brand and online
A pillar of good marketing, storytelling helps to make your personal brand
shine, grab the attention of your audience, expand your network and build
relationships. Remember, you are the CEO and CMO of your brand. Your
storytelling abilities set its foundation and provide a strategy for
how to define your personal brand using storytelling.
There are many apps, websites and tools that you can use to help you build
your personal brand. Here are
10 free tools to help you develop your personal brand.
A unicorn is a mythical
creature, a horse with a single horn on its forehead. A human “unicorn” has
specific skills and can jump in, with minimal training, and work magic. To
differentiate yourself, market yourself as a rare entity who delivers
What talents, skills and connections do you offer to
add value to an individual, employer or organization? For example, are you asking the right
questions during a discussion at work? Are you helping someone improve
their LinkedIn profile? Are you helping someone find a job by using your
network? Are you proofreading someone’s résumé?
With your personal brand, don’t emphasize competence to the point of
appearing cold. To exert influence,
balance competence with warmth.
Xenagogy is a guidebook about personal branding.
Opportunities will find you when you have a strong personal brand—your
values, abilities, skills, network and actions. What overall impression of
you do you want people to have? Create your
personal brand statement to craft that impression.
To differentiate yourself, do the exact opposite of everyone else. (If they
zig, you zag.) Learn
the zig-zag method for catching attention and building credibility.
Matthew Royse is the regional marketing director for Freudenberg IT, a global IT solutions provider. A version of this article originally appeared on his blog,
Article Prepared by Ollala Corp