Personal brands are not just for the Elon Musks and David Beckhams of this world (to name but two celebrities whose brands are vitally important to their status). With long term corporate careers being a thing of the past for many of us, a clear personal brand will help carry you from one temporary employment situation to another.

Building a personal brand is about defining what you are good at and building your reputation on those strengths. Here are the key steps to take in developing your personal brand.

1. Start by working out what you do best
It could be one or two skills or maybe it’s a list of five characteristics. Think about your capabilities and the special attributes and qualities you bring. What do people always come to you for? What is your specialism? Be honest about your strengths and focus on those.

2. Work out your value to the industry
You need to understand your value in order to promote it. So think about how you personally benefit the industry. Show that you’re aware of what’s happening in your field and prove that you’re better than the next industry expert.

3. Build up your online presence
Develop your profiles on all the major social networks; set up your own web page or blog; contribute to groups; write a white paper; share useful content. Make sure that you keep your profiles up-to-date and aim to be consistent, conveying the same tone and message throughout your online profiles.

4. Be the solution to the problem
Listen carefully and research thoroughly to find out what people really want and then highlight your skills to match this. Cite your successes and gain recommendations from others to build up credibility and trustworthiness.

5. Deliver on your brand promise
Whatever you say you can do or are going to do you must deliver on it if anyone else is going to believe in your brand. To truly impress and gain people’s trust you’ll have to ‘live your brand’, ensuring that what people perceive is what they get.

6. Become a role model
When you have a strong, positive personal brand, you’ll gain a following from those that support you. You will become a role model. Being surrounded by successful, talented people is a testament to your strengths as a leader.

Whenever you interact with someone, think about your personal brand. Be mindful of how you affect others and how they respond to you and always live up to the expectations that you set.

Reference: CIO; Forbes; inc; Abintegro
13 Jul 2017
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