Your Personal Branding Strategy For 2014

With a new year comes new strategy in the world of personal branding. While many are resolving to break old habits, take advantage of this formative time of year to establish new ones as well. Whether you have professional goals for advancement, are looking for a career change, or even just wanting to strengthen your professional presence, use this time to refine your image and your personal branding strategy.

Last week, The Guardian posted an insightful article outlining the five steps you should be taking this year to strengthen your personal brand. Marketing strategist Dorie Clark cues you in on the five new trends to follow.

1. Get busy and contribute to the conversation

Own your brand and live authentically in all areas of your life. Keep yourself involved with the community in volunteer work, sponsor a favorite charity, pick up new responsibilities at work, or finally get around to that project you’ve been thinking about forever. Once you start with these new activities, Clark advises that you use them to your advantage by sharing with friends. And don’t hesitate to share your accomplishments over social media! This essential step will keep you relevant and show those around you that you’re up for whatever’s next.

2. Old friends open new networks

While you should never neglect an opportunity to network, take a new turn by looking to the faces of your past. Even though you haven’t seen or spoken to them for a while, Clark recommends reaching out to them. Let your old coworkers, classmates, and friends know how you’ve changed, and ask the same for them. As both parties have most likely grown through the years, they’ve also likely expanded their networking circles. Take advantage of these all too often underutilized connections.

3. Find your new niche

Avoid generalization and give people something to remember you by. This personal branding strategy will allow you to characterize yourself and your brand by becoming an expert in an emerging trend. Pick something specific but growing, and keep yourself well informed and up-to-date with developments. Clark claims you’ll soon be known for your endeavors.

4. Teach yourself a useful skill

Make the most of your time and focus on learning one new skill. Clark uses webinars as her example, but there are many more options out there for you. Endless resources online make learning just about anything easy. Whether its video editing, public speaking, blogging, or a foreign language, amping up your resume with an applicable skill shows your well-roundedness and sets you apart. Buzzfeed put together a list of skills to master and the resources to do so as well.

5. Make something

Clark, amongst others, asserts that creating content is one of the best personal branding strategies of the new year. By putting yourself out there, you can strengthen your presence and draw others to you. The easiest way to do this is to create your own website on Squarespace. In ten minutes this essential personal branding strategy will get you your own space on your own domain with a mobile-friendly template.

What do you think of Clark’s new personal branding tips? Did she leave any off the list? Contribute to the conversation and let us know what you think!