Why build your own brand?
Developing an authentic, recognisable personal brand opens up professional opportunities by helping you network and stand out from the crowd .
Online recruiting has become the norm, with a large emphasis on using social media for the process. A whopping 94% of industries use LinkedIn, and 66% use Facebook accounts .
Why should we be authentic online?
Authenticity is the quality of being genuine, truthful and legitimate. This gives your profile personality, allowing others to identify with your values and beliefs; in marketing, consumers are often buying more than just a product .
So why stop at seeking job opportunities, when you can also use the web to build your own brand?
Lucy Cronin, a personal trainer, established herself on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by successfully gaining followers and consequently, a clientele. A recent study found that nearly 80% of UK consumers would be more inclined to a particular brand based on it’s social media presence . She has skilfully used the powers of social media (through networking, posting, and sharing) to build her business and promote healthy living. See her video.
Use these transferable skills to both build your personal brand and produce an authentic professional profile:
- Define and refine:
Create a vision for yourself and set defined goals for yourself, then you can determine who your target audience is . On LinkedIn, describe your professional skills and qualities but remember – the recruiters do not want to read long, wordy descriptions so try to keep it short, sharp and powerful.
- Use multiple platforms:
LinkedIn obviously dominates as a social network recruitment tool. However, using multiple avenues to engage employers and/or clientele is beneficial; LucyCroninPT uses three networking modalities to reach her audience. More importantly, connect these websites together through a common name or even, an About.me page!
- Consistency is key:
When your name is Googled, the message portrayed must be consistent across the board. With multiple online profiles (although contrary to Topic 2) authenticity can be maintained by keeping a consistent name/handle throughout.
- Monitor and update:
Once your LinkedIn and/or personal brand is established, it is important to monitor it’s the growth and perception by the target audience. Keep it up to date constantly as times are changing and you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities! You may want to use this helpful guide for LinkedIn.
- Be yourself:
Chris Ducker reasons that authenticity allowed him to be unique and resonate with his followers when blogging [1a]. If you don’t appear to be real this could lead to mistrust. Also, everyone is unique and ‘uniqueness’ is attractive as it inspires creativity. Learning to embrace this and using it to promote yourself will give you serious advantages over competition.
Lastly, for some inspiration:
1. Neil Patel & Aaron Agius. The Complete Guide to Building your Personal Brand. Quicksprout. Available at: https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand/ [Accessed 8th March 2016]
1a. Neil Patel & Aaron Agius. The Complete Guide to Building your Personal Brand: How to be unique. Quicksprout. Available at: https://www.quicksprout.com/the-complete-guide-to-building-your-personal-brand-chapter-8/ %5BAccessed 8th March 2016]
2. Jobvite, Social Recruiting Survey Results, 2014. Available at: https://www.jobvite.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Jobvite_SocialRecruiting_Survey2014.pdf [Accessed 8th March 2016]
3. Rachel Winstead, 2015. Being Yourself: The Importance Of Authenticity In Online Marketing.
Business2Community. Available at: http://www.business2community.com/online-marketing/importance-authenticity-online-marketing-01196677#XEoDy4bIgpD5lQc5.99 [Accessed 8th March 2016]
4. Harriet Clarke, 2013. Unlocking the power of social media. Internet Advertising Bureau UK. Available at: http://www.iabuk.net/blog/unlocking-the-power-of-social-media [Accessed 8th March 2016]
Screenshots from Facebook and Twitter, taken with consent.