When we think about branding, our favorite clothing items, food companies or tech products often come to mind. However, an individual's personal brand is just as important. A strong personal brand can show those around you what you value, who you are and what you can bring to the table as well as set you apart from the crowd.
Personal branding isn't a new concept, but it is constantly changing. With more and more people adopting a unique personal brand, it's always important to keep developing your brand. In 2017, that means taking a few new steps to solidify the image you're trying to create.
Let's take a look at a few things you can do to improve your personal brand this year.
1. Get Certified
Certifications are a great way to show off your skills and provide people with more certainty about your qualifications. If you're looking to improve your personal brand, consider getting certified in something you love to do.
There are certifications online for just about everything. However, if you can't find a certification that fits your needs and skills, consider an online course instead. While they may not come with a certification, you can still let others know that you've taken the course and have developed that skill.
2. Attend a Conference
Conferences are a fantastic way to get to know new people, share your insights and expand your connections. If you've never participated in a conference before, make it a goal to visit a conference in your industry by the end of the year.
There are conferences of all sizes all across the country. While some of the larger conferences can be a bit pricey, consider talking with your boss about sending you on behalf of your company. If they're not ready to send you, consider looking into cheaper, smaller alternatives. They can still help you improve your image and make strong network connections.
3. Build a Personal Website
One of the best ways to show off your skills and your brand is through a personal website. Whether you have a portfolio to feature or you just want a page that describes who you are and what you can do,a personal website can help you improve your brand.
Consider what relevant information you may want to share with someone and add it to your site. The addition of a blog and an informative "About Me" page can help whoever lands on your site fully understand who you are.
4. Focus on Consistency
Just like with a company, consistency is key to growing a strong brand. If you're constantly changing your personal brand, no one will be able to develop a clear image of who you are. Instead, they'll be left feeling confused.
If you're struggling to solidify your personal brand, take time to think through who you are and who you want to be. Know the image you'd like to create, who you'd like to attract and what you'd like to accomplish with your personal brand. Be sure to keep this in mind through everything you do.
5. Promote Yourself in a Video
Many of us fear promoting ourselves. Whether it's online or in person, self-promotion doesn't always come easy. However, to spread your message and improve your personal brand, you need to put yourself out there. In today’s landscape, where 80% of online traffic is video, an excellent way to do this is through a promotional video.
Look for ways to promote yourself and your skills. Whether you share the video on your website or social media, it may help you gain the confidence to pitch yourself and your accomplishments. When you start spreading your message, you can build your brand and attract new attention.
6. Own Your Uniqueness
When you're looking to grow your personal brand, you need to understand what makes you unique. Just like company brands, you must find a way to stand apart from the dozens of other brands just like yours. This requires finding your unique identifier and using it to your advantage.
To find your uniqueness, take a look at those around you. Understand what you have in common and what features or benefits they're outlining as their unique qualities and attributes. From there, consider what skills or benefits you can bring to the table that others can't. This is your unique selling proposition.
7. Be Yourself
If you're creating a personal brand, you need to remember to be yourself. While you can always enhance certain qualities and characteristics that you want to shine through, you don't want to create a brand personality so far out there that it's hard to keep up with. If you're not acting like yourself, your audience will know.
Always stay true to who you are with your personal branding. Look for ways to enhance your image by focusing on things you're genuinely interested in. When you stay authentic, it will be easier to develop a personal brand that accurately shows off your skills and personality.
There are dozens of ways you can enhance your personal brand in 2017. However, when you consider the image you're trying to create and the best way to enhance it, your personal brand will grow even stronger.