Personal branding is crucial if you want to be successful in your career, but what exactly is personal branding? Personal branding is defined as the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. When you look at big name or recognizable brands, you’ll realize that they all have two things in common; they are identifiable and they are cohesive in every aspect of branding. Branding yourself and your career might seem overwhelming, but if you break it down into these three steps, you’ll be branding yourself for success in no time!
Remember that you are a walking billboard
When you’re focusing on personal branding it’s crucial to remember that you are a walking billboard. Everything you do and every piece of content you put out there is part of your personal brand, and you want everything to reflect the same image and vibe. Brand yourself for success through your clothing, your resume, your career, and your online presence. Never forget that you have the power to change how people see you. It’s really empowering when you realize that you control everything you put out there including how people see you and what perception you give off.
Think about how often we judge people almost immediately based on their appearance. Clothing is a tool which can help you take control of how people see you and manipulate their viewpoint. Do you want to appear as a strong, knowledgeable, and confident individual? Your clothing can help with that!
Think about how a brand is cohesive in every aspect of marketing and aesthetics. Decide how you want other people to see you and the brand you represent, and dress accordingly. If you want to be seen as a professional, wear professional clothing. It won’t only affect how people see you, but there’s something empowering about dressing “up.” It changes your demeanor and studies have shown that it influences the way we think.
Perfect your elevator pitch
Your elevator pitch is one of the most important parts of pitching yourself to others whether it’s for a job, a writing opportunity, or to gain experience. You’re pitching yourself anytime you try to further develop your career, so getting confident in your elevator pitch is essential. An elevator pitch is a short and persuasive speech that summarizes who you are, what you do, and why you’re unique. You should know it by heart and be able to say your elevator pitch at any time, from a job interview to a conversation with friends, or a conversation with someone who might be able to help you land a job.
A great way to practice is to give your elevator pitch to a friend and ask them to give you feedback on three main aspects:
- What they learned
- What they wish they learned/what information you should include
- Where they think you could improve
This exercise will help you figure out where you are with your elevator pitch and how you can improve it to perfect this important part of your personal brand.
Create a cohesive brand across multiple platforms
Creating a cohesive personal brand is extremely important for developing your career, and using consistent branding across channels helps build your credibility. Think about it this way: If you search for a person or business and see multiple platforms and channels come up with the same information and visuals, you can assume that this brand has put in the time to create a consistent branding strategy. If you see different visuals, as well as inconsistent verbiage and service offerings across platforms, it’s harder to believe that the brand is professional and trustworthy.
If you’re offering professional services, you’ll want to demonstrate a professional brand that’s consistent across all channels. This means creating uniform content and being present on a company website, LinkedIn, Google, Yelp, and social media. The more channels and social platforms you utilize, the more reputable and trustworthy your brand becomes. If someone is unable to find a source of your work, including examples, contact information, and recognition, they’re unlikely to trust you as a brand and a professional. If you can’t establish trust among consumers, you won’t have a successful business.
Personal branding is essential to market yourself correctly in your career. By packaging and marketing yourself correctly, you will be able to manipulate how people view you, enabling you to secure the career of your dreams. If you’re able to show people that you can do it and that your work will benefit them, you’ll be able to reach all of your professional goals and aspirations.