You have a personal brand, whether you know it or not. It’s how you present yourself to others. It’s your ethics, your habits, your actions, and your style. Whether or not you work to create your best personal brand is up to you. However, as career and business strategist Megan Dalla-Camina argues, your career can depend on it.
In her recent Women’s Agenda post, Your Personal Brand Matters, Dalla-Camina stressed the importance of personal branding development for all professionals. Whether you’ve already put some time into your brand or are just beginning, her advice is a great starting place for beginners and a good refresher for those looking to reevaluate their brand. Here’s what she says:
1. Start with an authentic foundation
The key to a successful brand is ensuring that it is an accurate representation of you. If you’re trying to be something else, you may find yourself in the wrong job, with the wrong expectations placed on you. Stick to your strengths and strongest qualities for your best brand and professional wellbeing. Not sure how to define your personal brand? Career Cast and Wet Feet both have great advice on narrowing it down. Bottom line, keep it authentic.
2. Utilizing your brand in the workplace
Dalla-Camina’s second personal branding development point is to make the most of your brand in your career. Can you do that in your current role and your workplace? Do you utilize your strengths regularly, and do you feel fulfilled by what you’re doing? If your work seems to stifle your spirit or passions, or just doesn’t work with your brand, you may be in the wrong career. Empower yourself and see where your strengths can take you. A career change may be a better choice for your brand and wellbeing.
3. Own your niche
As Dalla-Camina points out, you and your personal brand have got to be known for something. Having a niche or defined area of expertise makes your brand recognizable and memorable. An expertise makes you credible and prompts others listen. As Personal Branding Blog points out, an expertise also requires maintenance and keeping up. Stay relevant with industry news and be active in the community. Being a thought leader in your niche can gain respect for your brand. Reach out to others in the community of your field to widen your base and expand your network in the right direction.
4. Solidify your brand with character
Your brand is comprised of how you represent yourself, and that representation is largely made up of your actions and behaviors. Create a good track record for your brand by being generous, punctual, respectful, and showing gratitude to others always. Actions speak louder than words, so keep your behaviors consistent across the board. Your brand and reputation are at stake.
5. Take it online
Dalla-Camina’s last personal branding development point stresses the importance of reflecting your brand online. Google yourself to see what appears, and do what you can to remove anything negative. Then, take the steps to portray your strengths online. Fully represent yourself with a blog, LinkedIn, other social media, and your own website. Like Dalla-Camina says, an online first impression can make or break your brand. Invest in the best possible digital representation with a Squarespace website. Their designs are award-winning, and with a domain in your own name, you’ll have the best possible first impression on the web.
What do you think of Dalla-Camina’s advice for personal branding development? Did she leave anything important out? Let us know what you think and leave a comment below.