Personal branding, as an exercise, is a vital component of professional development. That’s not what many people want to hear; certainly not introverted types who’d prefer that their work speak for itself. But it’s the world we live in.
If you need more convincing of the importance of personal branding, read this direct and unsparing post by Caroline Castrillon. If you subsequently require some time to come to grips with the hard truth of the matter, take it. Then, when you’re ready to dip your toe into the personal branding waters, execute these six proven strategies.
- Use the Same High-Quality Professional Headshot Everywhere
This sounds basic as can be, but you’d be surprised by the number of otherwise competent professionals who fail to grasp its importance. If your professional headshot is the first impression you make when you’re not able to physically shake someone’s hand, it’s vital that said impression be the absolute best it can be. And it’s critical that it be consistent every single time, no matter the context. So, if your LinkedIn headshot is different from your Facebook headshot, you’re doing it wrong.
- Use Your Website to Showcase Your Professional Strengths
You know what you’re good at. Make sure everyone who visits your website knows it too. Example: This professional website includes a detailed “About” page and a list of recent speaking engagements showcasing the subject’s expertise. Yours could easily do the same.
- Cultivate a Subject Matter Niche and Stop Trying to Be Everything to Everyone
Again, you know what you’re good at. Trying to be everything to everyone all the time does no one any good, least of all you. Use your personal website and professional social media accounts to showcase your subject matter expertise: the one or two domains you know cold.
- Develop a Solutions-Oriented Reputation
It’s not enough to position yourself as an expert in this field or that. You’ll only hit your stride when you develop a reputation for solutions-oriented expertise: that is, your ability to use your expertise to help others solve problems. If your website and social media handles don’t clearly communicate this capability, they’re not doing their job.
- Showcase Testimonials and Positive Feedback From Past Clients and Colleagues
Think beyond the LinkedIn endorsement (not to take away from its significance, which is great) to personal testimonials that well and truly convey your value as a professional. The logical place for such testimonials is your personal or corporate website.
- Play Up Your Lighter Side
All work and no play…well, you know the rest. Use the appropriate social handles (Instagram, Facebook) to show off extracurricular activities that further your personal brand. Tastefully and professionally, of course.
Whip Your Personal Brand Into Shape
Like your body or car, your personal brand needs maintenance and care to stay in shape. Your brand doesn’t need to huff and puff your way through a 5K or get its oil changed every few months, of course, but it does demand your attention.
The good news is, these six personal branding strategies will go a long way toward whipping your personal brand into shape, at least temporarily. It’s up to you to keep the momentum going. Are you ready to help your personal brand become the best version of itself?