In a world where connections matter, your personal brand can be your most potent asset. But it is so much more than a carefully curated profile, or even what you want it to be; it's the holistic representation of who you are, what you do and what you stand for.
Like any brand, your personal brand is ultimately what lives inside the minds of audiences and is defined by the attributes they associate with you. It is a mix of what people have heard about us, what they see and read online and ultimately their impression of interpersonal engagements.
It is not only who you believe yourself to be, but how others think of and connect with you. A simple way to think of your brand is what people might say about you when you leave the room and what differentiates you from others.
By proactively managing and building a strong personal brand both in the digital world and in person, you have the potential to achieve your career goals or open up opportunities that align best with your values and strengths.
And don’t forget, in this digital world it is both your private life and professional life that contribute to your brand (even more so in a small city like Perth). I’ve seen a client behaving very badly on the sidelines of a junior sporting match on a Saturday morning – character attributes that did not align with their highly polished professional brand!
5 things you can do to build your personal brand;
1. Strategic networking
It’s about placing yourself in the right place at the right time and seizing the opportunity to share your knowledge and build your profile. Join professional organisations and networking groups – remember, we like to do business and engage with people we know and like.
2. Act with authenticity
It is important to remember that at its core, personal branding is about authenticity. It's the amalgamation of your values, skills, passions, and unique qualities that set you apart. In a sea of similarities, authenticity can set you apart and appeal to like-minded individuals.
There is no point defining and promoting your personal brand based on characteristics that are not true to who you are. Start by working out what it is that makes you authentically you.
3. Engage online
Remember – it’s quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how many connections you have on LinkedIn if you don’t use them well. Don’t just ‘connect’ - you need to engage. Comment, contribute to a discussion be brave and share your professional views to have your voice heard.
4. Thought Leadership
Thought leadership is no longer just a column in the newspaper. Use LinkedIn to create a discussion or share a professional view. Using video can be a great way to showcase your views and passions for certain subjects – and get better and wider engagement with current and new audiences.
5. First impressions
As humans we consciously or unconsciously form an impression of someone based on their presentation, how they walk into a room, their confidence, the way they speak or how they present themselves online.
First impressions matter and help build a personal brand. A bad first impression can take a long time to turn around.
Nicole Moody has established and managed the personal brand of numerous Perth CEOs, business identities and Government leaders for more than 20 years.