Reference: Fast Company
You know you’re living in the 21st Century when ‘brand’ invariably carries the word ‘personal’ before it. While we might not care to think of ourselves in terms of something you’d pick up at your favourite clothing outlet, personal branding and messaging is an important if not essential part of creating a modern professional identity.

Successful branding is about tying your professional skills and attributes with your interests and personality into one cohesive message. Here’s how to hit the ‘refresh’ button on your personal brand in five easy steps.

1. Seek others’ opinion
How your brand comes across to others is what this whole thing is really all about, so start by canvassing the views of friends and colleagues. Ideally refer to people in a similar field and those who use social media or similar platforms themselves.

2. Decide where your true value lies
Identifying your USPs early on in the process can save further tweaks and overhauls along the way. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, plump for a single title or role and base your branding around this.

3. Understand your target audience
Who are you trying to impress through your personal brand / social media presence? If it’s new career opportunities you’re after, take a look at employees at companies you’d like to work for and how they present themselves.

4. Aim for consistency
The next step is to make sure your theme is carried consistently throughout the various branding platforms you use. This could mean making sure all your social media pages carry the same profile picture, to using a similar writing style on your personal website to the one you use in emails.

5. Keep things current
An online profile is great when fresh and current, but let it grow old and it can quickly turn into a negative. Sharing content and commenting on group posts is an easy way to keep your brand visible and relevant and will keep you in tune with the latest developments in your industry.

Like it or not, reinvigorating your personal brand is an important investment of your time. With professional networking sites like LinkedIn now boasting more than 300 million members, that’s a lot of potential first impressions being formed. You need to make sure theirs is the one you want.

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