Need to create or update your personal brand image?
We all—entrepreneurs, professionals, teachers, and students—find ourselves in a strange world of unknowing and wondering when our lives will return to our pre-pandemic normal. While there is plenty to keep us occupied from Netflix documentaries, to HubSpot certifications, many colleagues and students feel stuck. They aren’t quite sure how to move forward with an uncertain future and not sure whether it’s worth pursuing a new venture. After all, why consider it when you can watch one more episode of Tiger King?
However, as we think about the future (because this phase will pass), we can consider how it will evolve for us. This is a great opportunity to work on shaping the brand image we want to cultivate for ourselves in the post-pandemic world.
What industry do we want to work in?
What job opportunities do we want to pursue?
What new business might we create?
Start by looking inward
Thinking about the future is important, but in these uncertain economic times, focusing on new opportunities can feel futile. But that isn’t a problem when it comes to personal branding. It’s more important to discover who we are today and curate that content before setting our sights on new prospects.
When I teach personal branding, I discuss with students the importance of communicating their authentic self. While this might seem like an obvious and easy step, it’s actually quite daunting to ask the question—Who am I?
It’s more important to discover who we are today and curate that content before setting our sights on new prospects.
Then look to those who inspire you
Once they’ve thought about who they really are, I suggest to students to examine the managers, influencers, and experts they admire and ask the following questions:
- What’s this person’s influence in the field in which they work?
- What qualities do I admire most?
- What have they achieved that I hope to achieve too?
With this list, we have a tangible set of skills, qualities, and goals that we admire in others who have had an influence on us. Which of these traits can we call our own? What goals can we claim for ourselves? And with that, we can begin developing our personal brand image through imagery and content.
Let’s get to work crafting your personal brand image
When developing content—whether on a LinkedIn profile, a personalized URL, or your Twitter account—it’s crucial to focus on your audience. Who do you want to connect with and provide value? Is it a prospective employer, is it a potential consulting client, or is it an audience we hope to cultivate with your own influential power?
Knowing the audience when promoting your personal brand will ensure you’re strategic with the content that’s shared on digital or offline channels, such as conferences and networking events. Once you’ve figured this out, then you’ll deliver truly valuable insights for your target audience, and have a clear, authentic, personal brand.