Over the last decade or so, the concept of your ‘personal brand’ has been born and majority of us find it quite intimidating. In this article, we discuss why building your personal brand is so important and provide some simple tips to help you build yours.
Personal branding is a vital, modern method of business development and attraction. And anyone still seeing it as a nice-
Your personal brand is one of the most powerful tools for accessing your target market. It determines how you’re perceived by peers, sponsors, businesses, potential employers and how they remember and recognize you. It is especially important when on the job hunt. Potential employers will check your personal LinkedIn account and it gives them a snapshot into the type of person and potential colleague you are.
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you’ll never know what to talk about. General interest topics are great for capturing attention and generating engagement, but you’ll convert more with content targeted directly at the people you want to work with.
For example, if you’re a product designer, you want to target potential employers or clients, so creating content which offers your thoughts on design trends or, even better, share some of your work. This will help to target your audience. Whereas if you’re, say, a sports broadcaster, you want to target sports fans, not product designers. It’s quite simple, really – post content that your particular audience can relate to and interact with.
Let’s face it – LinkedIn’s changed. People these days don’t just want to consume business content all the time. Now it’s a place for news and entertainment like any other social media platform.
Personal branding allows you to build trust at scale. Glance through your feed and you’ll notice personal content is ranked a lot higher than posts about your employer’s newsletter or what job openings they might have. It’s more compelling to read, and more likely to endear you to the person posting it.
Be authentic and say what’s on your mind. You might have an opinion you hold dear that has nothing to do with your day job or you may have a hobby you’d love to share. I love my dog and he gets more engagement than any of my work-related posts (he’s beautiful, I’m not surprised).
Like anything in life, if we don’t change things up, we get bored. It’s the exact same with the content that you post. There are tonnes of different forms of content that you can post, here are just some examples:
All of these create much more engagement on a human level than your usual professional, work-related posts.
It’s great saying you’re going to start to build your personal brand but this isn’t going to happen unless you are consistent. Be accountable and set reminders in your calendar to post on LinkedIn. Create a content planner for yourself, just as you would for your company page. Keep your ear to the ground on topics or shared cultural events that might bolster your online personality – “Ireland beat New Zealand in the rugby. I wonder if there’s any way I could tie this into the current landscape I’m working in?”
Building your personal brand doesn’t just involve you posting on social, you need to interact with the peers and experts in your industry. Spend 15 minutes a day to just scroll through LinkedIn and interact with posts that catch your attention. This may involve voting on a poll, liking a post or commenting on one, offering your opinion or insights.
We hope this article encourages you and gives you the confidence you need to start building your personal brand. Start with baby steps by interacting with others and take note of the content you like to see. If you like to see it, chances are your like-minded audience will too. Then take the plunge and start producing some content yourself. By putting yourself out there you can expand your network and open up numerous new opportunities for yourself and your business.