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How to build a personal brand in 4 steps

Having a strong personal brand is not just a trend; it's a career necessity. 85% of recruiters and HR professionals in the United States say that an employee's online reputation influences their hiring decisions to some extent. More interestingly, nearly 50% say that a strong online reputation influences their hiring decisions to a great extent (Source: Market Splash).

A well-crafted personal brand can help you stand out, make meaningful connections, and advance your career. Sit back, grab a cup of tea and read this guide on the significance of personal branding and how you can successfully leverage your personal brand without it being cringe.

So, what is a personal brand?

Your personal brand is your unique identity and the impression you leave on others. It encompasses your skills, experiences, values, and reputation. In the digital age, your personal brand is more accessible and influential than ever before.

Stop reading, it’s time for a quick exercise. If you did a Google search of your name, what would you want to appear in the search results? Think about it. Once you’ve come up with your ideal search result, head to Google, type in your name and search.

Does your ideal search result match the reality?

Meet Emma. Emma works in fashion marketing and lives in London. After the pandemic, she realised that her career had plateaued. She decided to develop a personal brand that showcased her expertise in digital marketing. By consistently sharing valuable insights on social media, publishing articles, and speaking at industry events, Emma became a respected person in her field. This not only opened doors to new opportunities but also helped her negotiate a significant salary increase.

Did Emma do the right thing in building a strong personal brand?

Yes! A strong personal brand builds trust amongst colleagues, leaders, and potential employers. Building one allowed Emma to communicate her competence, reliability, and authenticity, making others more likely to seek her expertise and collaborate with her.

There are numerous ways to build a personal brand. Social media, personal websites, and professional networking platforms are great tools for showcasing your expertise and connecting with a broader audience.

But remember authenticity is key! Your personal brand should reflect who you truly are and what you stand for. Authenticity resonates with others, helping you build meaningful relationships and attract opportunities aligned with your values.

Four steps to developing your personal brand

Step 1: Discover Your Spark

What makes you you? The first step in building a strong personal brand is discovering what makes you extraordinary.

Stop reading, it’s time for a quick exercise. Grab a piece of paper and write down your top 3 passions, strengths, and values. Also, ask yourself what makes your heart beat faster and what sets you apart from the crowd?

The answer to this is your spark. Once you've found it, let it ignite your brand and be the centre of how you sell yourself.

Step 2: Craft Your Signature Story

Now that you have your spark, it's time to tell your story. Craft a compelling narrative that showcases your journey, struggles, and triumphs. People connect with stories, and your story is your secret sauce.

Your story must be specific. Details, details details! Capture highlights and make it relatable, authentic, and memorable.

Step 3: Design Your Visual Identity

Your personal brand should be visually striking. Striking doesn’t have to mean an amazing profile picture and colour-coordinated website - it can also be in what you say.

Choose a distinct identity that reflects your goals, personality and message. Your visual identity is the first impression you make, so make it count. It's your personal brand's visual signature.

Step 4: Consistency is Key

A strong brand doesn’t grow overnight. It takes time. And time requires consistency. Consistency is the glue that holds your personal brand together. Be consistent in your messaging, tone, and visual elements across all platforms. Whether it's your website, social media, or in-person interactions, your brand should shine through regularly.

Lisa, a financial consultant in Birmingham shows a great example of consistency. She harnessed the power of LinkedIn to build her personal brand. She shared articles twice a week, engaged in thoughtful discussions, and provided value to her network. Her efforts resulted in invitations to speak at industry conferences, where she further solidified her reputation as a thought leader.

Building a personal brand isn't reserved for celebrities or influencers; it's a valuable asset for defining who you are. Our personal brand gives us a unique opportunity to advance our careers, break through barriers, and make a meaningful impact.

By embracing authenticity, using digital platforms strategically, and consistently demonstrating expertise, we can create personal brands that not only empower us financially but also inspire others and foster positive change.

Your brand is your legacy — make it brilliant!

Fempire Finance

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