Build your personal brand

When you work for a company, you represent their brand and their products. If you change careers or start your own business, you will acquire a new brand and the new products and services of that new organization. But what about your own personal brand? Your personality, your values, and your relationships? Are your clients buying your products or are they buying your knowledge, level of service, and dedication?

Companies come and go but your values, business ethics, and the way that you do business will most likely not change. You should always be working on creating and marketing your own personal brand. This means designing a personal website, start blogging your ideas, share your thoughts through social media, and even go as far as creating your own logo. This is my logo that was created by Wouter Corver, graphic designer at Quadri bvba in Antwerp, Belgium.

Here are a couple tips in creating a personal brand:

  1. Find your passion. If you do something that makes you happy, then work does not feel like work, and you won’t mind spending multiple hours working on your brand.
  2. Set goals and think big. Write them down and review them periodically. The bigger the goal, the better. You might not reach them, but you will go much further than if you would have set lower goals.
  3. Have a story to tell. By humanizing your personal brand, people will relate to you and are more willing to listen to you. Story telling is key in creating your personal brand. Find the balance between education, promotion, and personal content.
  4. Understand all the social media channels, and how you should communicate on them. Not every social media channel speaks to the same audience, so you should not treat them the same. Find out what gets the best response per social media channel.
  5. Find your best medium to share your content. Video is by far the most effective way, but if you are not comfortable in front of a camera, it might hurt your brand. Use the content medium that works best for you and your followers.
  6. Become a thought leader by reading, reading, and reading some more. The top CEO’s in the country read 60+ books a year. In order to become an industry expert, you first have to learn from the experts.
  7. Network offline and online. When you go to public events, always represent your personal brand. Connect with people, show interest in their careers, and offer advice and ways to help because you are the industry expert. The same counts for online networking. Find online discussions in your field and start commenting on discussions. The goal is to get their attention and check out your profile, read your blog ,and follow you on the social media channels.
  8. Be patient. Building a brand (personal or for a business) takes time. You will not see results right away. Share your knowledge, be passionate, network, read, and work hard.
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