Personal branding is absolutely essential in the world of the social Web. The first place potential employees look to learn about you (after reading your resume) is the Internet. Your Twitter stream, Facebook profile, LinkedIn profile, and so on all offer a glimpse into who you are as an employee and where you’re heading in your career. You need to be sure that your online persona is branded appropriately to help you reach your goals.
Branding yourself is just like branding a product line or business. The same principles that marketers use to create brands like Nike, Campbell’s, and Honda apply to personal branding. Consider women like Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart. Both of these women have defined their personal brands, created a brand image, message, and promise, and continually meet the world’s expectations related to their personal brands.
By branding yourself, perceptions are created about who you are and what you can do. Just as people have expectations for Oprah Winfrey’s behavior and business decisions, your colleagues, peers, superiors, clients, and potential employers will develop expectations for you based on the personal brand that you define and live.
Following are the three critical steps of building a brand that you should keep in mind as you develop your own unique persona that will be the foundation of your personal brand:
Once you determine what your brand image, message and promise should be, you must consistently present yourself in the same way through every interaction, communication, and so on. Inconsistency leads to confusion. When you’re trying to build a career, consistency is essential.
You need to relentlessly communicate your personal brand message, so it becomes the cornerstone of your online persona.
Understand that building a brand takes time. It’s a long term strategy that can help you establish yourself in the image and niche you wish to carve out for yourself throughout your career.