• Pooja Salian

Tips & Tricks to build a personal brand online

Successful branding strategy over the years has changed the fate of products, companies and businesses. ‘Branding’ showcases what companies stand for, how a product / service / company differentiates itself from the rest in the market, through the values that it holds and the way it projects those values in the ecosystem. Branding builds public awareness impacts how people perceive a company and react to it, hence influencing overall sales metrics and business performance.

However, branding is no longer just restricted to businesses. In today’s day and age, every professional has a story to tell, knowledge, skills and experiences to share. Personal branding is no longer a good to have but a must have tool for professional success.

Why is creating a personal brand online so important? Whether it is employers seeking potential candidates, professionals looking to build and grow their network or even professionals seeking subject matter experts or influencers in certain industries or domains, an online investigation is the first step today to interact even prior to an in-person interaction.

Now that we understand and appreciate the value of building a personal brand online, let’s look at some tips and tricks for the same –

1. Introspect…introspect…introspect

Spend enough time deep diving into the values that are important to you, and what you stand for, your skills, competencies, strengths and weaknesses. Think of past instances in your life and career, projects you have worked on, your experiences with past work assignments, real life experiences of working with different people and within different environments. Run these past family members, close friends or co-workers to help get their feedback, fine tune and conclude. Remember that your skills and attributes should not just reflect where you are now, but also project a roadmap of where you want to be over the next 10 – 15 years.

A good idea would be to have a list of these few core values always displayed on your desk, so that your message remains consistent across all your online activity.

2. Define the message, the medium and the target audience and engage!

Once you have determined what you would like to display, the ‘how’ of it also matters. Define your target audience and objective for creating a personal brand. If you are on the lookout for a job, it might be a good idea to ensure your LinkedIn profile is updated with relevant keywords that highlight the key skills in roles and positions that you are aiming for; ensure you have some strong recommendations from clients, peers, etc. as recruiters use LinkedIn as a primary tool for talent hunting. If your goal as a digital marketer is to get more business, then you may want to invest in a professional website and display a portfolio of your existing work, including some strong client recommendations, while at the same time maintaining an active presence in relevant online industry and peer groups. However, while using different social media platforms ensure that you maintain some level of consistency like a uniform profile picture, contact details or an about me section, to build recall and credibility. Finally, one you are out there keep posting and engaging. Studies show that to maintain an active presence post at least 2 times a day on Facebook, 5 time on Twitter and once per day on LinkedIn.

3. Build your network and reach

Leverage different social media platforms to ensure that you reach out and make as many connects as possible – whether it is Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Online media increases your reach, helps you interact with potential recruiters, customers, etc. no matter which city or country they are based in. Social media enables you to connect with not just with your direct friends and acquaintances, also third level friends and acquaintances of connections. If you have a website / blog / social media pages for your business, ensure that your profile clearly displays this across different platforms. Avidly follow industry groups, companies, and experts to stay abreast of market movements and upskill on your knowledge in your niche areas of interest. Ask for and provide testimonials and recommendations wherever justified to build credibility and relevance.

4. Reinforce and reinvent

Lastly, remember that your personal brand is not just online. How you display behaviors while at work, with family or friends, your personality and attitude reflected in your thoughts and interactions, all help to eventually augment and build your overall brand. Use real life opportunities to your advantage, whether it is working with diverse people on projects, volunteering within your areas of interest or even reaching out to experts for their opinions and advice to help build your skills and knowledge. Remember as time passes, your personality might change, goals and objectives may change and so will your personal brand evolve. Hence, do not hesitate to reinvent and reaffirm your brand as you grow, much like a business.

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