Being different hasn’t always been celebrated the way it deserves. We spend a lot of our lives working to fit in, to be a part of something. But as we evolve in our careers, we learn that our ability to stand out is what makes us a marketable and invaluable asset to our industry. That is where your personal brand comes in to play. It sets you apart from others and makes you unique to your field of expertise. Here are some personal branding tips to help establish your influence in person and on social media.
Be authentic! I can’t say this enough. I will harp on it again and again. The internet will know you are lying before you realize it, so be real and be who you truly are.
When you think about who your audience will be, consider questions like: Whom do you want to befriend? Who would benefit most from your expertise or services?
The key to good content is to keep it consistent – not monotonous. You want your audience to see you as reliable but not boring. It never hurts to throw a curveball once in and while.
Growing your brand will take time! My mom would always say “patience is a virtue,” and never has that been truer than when growing your personal brand. Or as a constantly misquoted wise person (or ghost) once said, “If you build it, [they] will come.”
Avoid the hard sell. I know not everyone is a wordsmith, but when selling a product or service, you want to finesse it in a way that makes people think it is their idea. This is the best way to get them on board with your product. This means encouraging your audience to sign up or participate in something. Always end your communication with an action statement!
When posting on social media platforms, think about how your audience, and therefore your voice, will differ on those platforms. For example, the way you speak on LinkedIn could be very different from how you post on Twitter because those audiences might expect different things from you.
Hashtags can be an extremely useful tool but not on all platforms. Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are your best places to use hashtags because they tie directly into their algorithm’s design.
When it comes to public speaking, if you make a mistake, don’t apologize for it. Take a breath and move on. Only you will know of the error.
When networking, never discount the power of a compliment. It can be useful if you are new to networking and don’t know how to start a conversation or just to make yourself memorable.
Be authentic. (I told you I would harp on this.) You can only build a truly great brand if you are really yourself.
Enjoy being different. What makes you unique is what makes you so capable. Building a personal brand is just that – personal. So, take those qualities that make you special and use them to become a thought leader in the industry. As C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Don’t doubt your value. Don’t run from who you are.”