You are your brand. Your brand is you. And it is important to start thinking about yourself as a brand when you are beginning your career, looking for a new job or thinking about changing professions. There are a number of ways in which you can build yourself as a powerful brand which will help you to secure a new job or promotion.
Do a Google search
Type your name into Google and see what comes up. That’s what future employers are going to do, so you should see what they will. Are there articles which paint your work in a negative light? Try writing articles with your name attached and publishing them online. These positive pieces will hopefully move the negative article down. Are there a number of drunken or unflattering Facebook photos which pop up? Knowing those are out there gives you the opportunity to remove those photos.
Buy your name
Doing the Google search should have showed you whether or not your name’s domain has been taken. If it is still available, snap it up immediately. You might not be ready to start a website now but when you do, you’ll be ready. If you would like to start a company, you’ll have to know whether you’ll want to use your own name for the business name or come up with something else.
Social networks mean our lives are open to scores of people – some you know and others you’ve never met. Every link you tweet, Instagram photo and Facebook status are giving insight into you as a person and potential employee. Anyone liking your photo or retweeting you could be a potential employer, so think about that before you post anything online. Perhaps do one of the public relations courses available to fully understand how to sell yourself.
The three Cs
One personal branding theory is that there are three Cs – Clarity, Consistency and Constancy. Be sure to be clear about who and what you are, consistent in your actions and constant in your visibility.
Find a mentor and look at how their actions have influenced and shaped their careers. Richard Branson, chief executive of multi-billion dollar company Virgin, says: “Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.” Oprah Winfrey,one of the most recognisable faces on television today, says: “If I lost control of the business I’d lose myself–or at least the ability to be myself. Owning myself is a way to be myself.”
All of these people have one attribute in common. They believed in themselves and their vision before making it happen.
Credit: The Cradle