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Why Building Your Personal Brand Is the Smartest Thing You Can Do for Your Career
Tuesday, May 7, 2024

You should always be building your personal brand because you never know.

Anything can happen – you could get let go, your company could falter, become a consultant or go back in-house or decide you want to move cities or change careers – and if you don’t have a strong personal brand, you won’t have anything to fall back on.

Your personal brand is an insurance policy and it can work for you in the background.

It’s not enough to just be great at what you do especially in a crowded market. You have to actually tell people about it. Make sure people know what you bring to the table by staying visible.

Building your personal brand is your responsibility. Make sure your personal brand is working for you.

It’s so important to market yourself consistently, but we often put ourselves last on the list to do the things we need to do for our own businesses because we’re serving our own clients.

You simply have to make the time for marketing yourself and building your personal brand.

You may not think you need marketing right now, but marketing is an investment in your future.

You may not like marketing yourself so make it enjoyable by doing things you like to do that will have a high impact with your target audience (writing, speaking, blogging, networking, volunteering, etc.).

Don’t waste time doing things that aren’t putting you right front and center with people who could actually hire you, refer you work and bring you business.

So how do you do that?

Find a supportive environment. First off, if you’re working full-time, you must have an employer that supports the development of your personal brand. Meaning they will allow you to go to conferences, speak on podcasts, serve on industry committees, write articles and post on LinkedIn. Without that you can’t have a personal brand and you may need to find a new role. Having you be visible on topics that align with your firm’s mission is a win-win for all. Just make sure that you are in compliance with their social media policies and check with your supervisors before you commit to anything.

Be visible on LinkedIn. It’s the easiest way to build your personal brand, grow your network and become known as a leader in your field. It’s also free to use and most people post dry content, so there is a lot of opportunity to stand out from everyone else. For more LinkedIn tips, see this article.

Help others. Perhaps the smartest thing you can do to be top of mind with your connections is to be good to them. Compliment people and help people, and don’t expect anything in return.

Network within and outside your company: Cultivate relationships with colleagues, industry professionals and thought leaders both within and outside your organization. Attend industry events, participate in webinars or conferences, and engage in conversations that expand your network.

Seek internal visibility. Look for opportunities to showcase your skills and expertise within your company. Volunteer for projects, take on additional responsibilities or participate in cross-functional initiatives. This will increase your visibility and help you build a strong personal brand within your organization.

Speak at conferences. One of the best ways to become known as an expert in your field and network at the same time, is to speak at conferences. Make a list of the top conferences in your industry and find the online form to submit a program idea. You can even get in touch with the conference organizer to express your interest in being part of a program.

If you don’t get selected for speaking at a conference, or you decide you want your own autonomy over speaking, hold your own webinars. This is by far the most effective way that I was able to build my brand and get new clients during the pandemic.

Write articles and blog posts. Articles help you establish your subject matter expertise and give you bylines that add to your credentials on your website and on Google. This helps when someone is vetting you behind the scenes, which by the way they’re doing every single day.

Starting a blog is a big investment, and you don’t need to do that unless you plan on regularly posting content (and by regularly I mean once a week). Instead, you could be a guest author on other blogs, like mine.

Create short-form videos. This is been a successful strategy for me and helped people get to know more about me. You can convey so much more via video than the written word. If video makes you nervous, practice and practice. Also, you could try a podcast instead, where you don’t have to appear on camera if that isn’t your strong suit.

Speaking of podcasts, starting one is a big investment. But there’s another option – which is to be a guest on podcasts. Being a podcast guest should be part of your marketing strategy, so make a list of the top podcasts in your industry and put yourself forward to be a guest on them. Podcast content can be repurposed in so many ways, from short audiograms to blog posts to long-form articles.

Bonus podcast tip – record yourself doing the podcast on your phone and you will have video content too! I do this all the time and I have so many short video clips as a result that I can post on LinkedIn and other social channels.

So many of the opportunities that I’ve had have been ones I’ve created myself. It’s always nice when they come right to you, but most of the time we have to make opportunities happen.

I always say you have to be in it to win it, so make sure you’re in it!

Never lose sight of the fact that if you want to be known in your area you have to put yourself out there. It is an investment in your business and future, because again, anything can happen.

What are you going to do today to build your personal brand?

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