As a Millennial, you’ve probably mastered the art of multi-tasking. You may have gone to college, while taking part in an extracurricular, and working part-time on the side. And now in the working world, you probably work 60 hours a week have a few side-hustles going on. So with all of that, when do you have time to think about yourself and your personal brand?
We know it takes time, but building a strong personal brand is one of the most important things you can do for your future and your career. It’s gives you a goal, a purpose, something you can put out into the world for the rest of your life. So for those of you who feel stressed out about adding another thing to your plate, here are four easy tips to maintain your personal brand’s health and build your influence throughout the year.
1. Get updated on the news each morning.
The commute to work is a perfect time to get briefed on the news and information of the day. Educate yourself on current events, along with trends that are emerging in your field and industry. Just download a couple basic news apps and podcasts and you’re all set. (Some of Levo’s faves: NYT Now, NPR, The Dinner Party Download.) Getting into this habit will help build your credibility in your industry. By staying on top of the latest happenings, you’ll prove that you’re informed and trustworthy—and building trust increases your influence.
2. Schedule meetings with four people each month.
Information can come from many places, but one trait many leaders share is constantly surrounding themselves with other successful people or “information brokers.” By now, we all understand the importance of networking and relationships for our success, but many of us fail to consistently step outside our comfort zone and new people that will strengthen our networks and propel us forward in our industry. Being surrounded by other thought leaders helps develop your influence and makes you a valuable connection for anyone. Since meetings that revolve around food are usually more relaxed, make those your go-tos for building relationships with people that you simply just want to get to know on a professional basis.
3. Don’t hide your skills and expertise.
Whether it’s finally launching your online portfolio or writing a blog post about that awesome new brunch place you tried, it’s important for you to be able to showcase your skills and expertise. This practice also relates to building your influence in your network and gives you some cred on social media. And it can be a great conversation starter when you’re meeting someone new. If you don’t have a personal website or online portfolio, start with LinkedIn. Get all of your friends, family, coworkers, that guy on the subway, your Starbucks barista, to endorse your skills.
Social media channels like Twitter and Instagram (and now Snapchat and Periscope) are other ways to elevate your influence and bring awareness to your work. Make it your mission to update your social channels and online portfolio at least once a week—with professional material and some fun stuff. A large part of being influential is not only about what you know, but what you do with that knowledge.
4. Reflect on purpose.
Authenticity and grit are two personality traits that take time and effort to develop, but they’re golden when it comes to your personal brand. Grit is fueled by passion, and without that passion, motivation and drive to achieve long-term goals doesn’t exist. Maybe you don’t have your dream job now, but who says you can’t have in a year, or even 6 months? It’s easy to get discouraged, but as long as you’re sharing your story and letting your personality shine, you’ll find your best self. It sound like something you did in the 6th grade when Aaron Carter was your first “real” crush, but keep a journal. Write about your passions, your interests, and how those can translate into a meaningful career. Make it a habit to reflect and the end of every day: What was a challenge you faced? What was a positive thing that happened? You’ll feel more clear about where you’re heading the next day, the next week, and so on. Eventually your purpose will just fall into place.
Creating an influential personal brand that you’re passionate about and others respect is a deliberate process that takes time. But by developing these four habits, building your brand will become second nature and you’ll see the positive effects in your life and career.
Photo: Alys Tomlinson / Getty Images