The idea of a personal brand is not a new one, but it is an idea that has been gaining momentum over recent years, particularly with the growth of social media. Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Essentially, it’s who you are and what you stand for. But who needs a personal brand? It’s a question I’ve been asked a lot, so I thought I’d try and share some thoughts on what to look for when deciding whether to develop your personal brand.
Firstly, read through the following points and see if you can relate to any of them:
- Do you have an interest, a view or something to say?
- Are you keen on sharing, collaborating and exchanging views with others?
- Are you committed to developing, sharing and co-creating material next to your “day job”, even if just on a relatively small scale to start with?
If the answer is yes to the above points, then now is the time to start thinking about developing your personal ‘brand plan’ by drawing up a plan of activities short and medium term that you need to do to create, develop and maintain your personal brand.
So, where to start?
The detailed activities will differ from person to person, however in broad terms here are my top five tips and suggestions to get you started:
- Create an online presence.
In today’s world, the first thing people do when they want to find out more about you is to have a look online. Increasingly, job opportunities appear as a result of your profile online, and even learning and development can be enhanced with an online profile. So, my first piece of advice would be to invest in your online presence to enable you to grow and ace your career. So, you need to be active and plan your activity online.
- Twitter and LinkedIn are a good start. Set up a profile that accurately describes who you are.
- Have a look at people who you respect or look up to, and who have a significant Twitter and or LinkedIn follower base. How they have created and developed their profile? What tips can you take from them?
- When creating your LinkedIn profile ensure you focus on the elements that are important to you and the things you need and want to focus on. You don’t have to overshare! Just talk about what you would like others to know.
- Use KISS – keep it short and simple. Start small, but stay authentic.
2. Develop material
- Connect with people that are sharing material for you to re-share
- Try to develop material yourself. This could be as simple as taking a photo of something which interests you and sharing it, perhaps creating a post with an inspirational quote, or writing a short post on a topic which you have an opinion on.
- Ensure that the material is
- relevant and
- make sure you share frequently
- Such is the quantity of material on social media that most people won’t see what you post. So be sure to repost content at different times, and on different days.
3. Use tools at your disposal to grow your network
- At Capgemini, this is Expert Connect, a great program to help you to increase your external profile
- Ensure you connect with a small number of fellow employees who are using, or have a large external presence
- Use social media to help others. Share content, pass on your knowledge, help others
- LinkedIn Groups are a good start – there are plenty of groups
- Get involved…comment on posts, like, and engage.
4. Use social media to read, listen and learn
- Tools such as Feedly and Scoop allow you to search content which you can share. They save you time in trawling through content which isn’t relevant, and you can create an account meaning the content is selected automatically for you to share later
- The more you read, the more you learn and therefore pass on through your network. Use social media to learn and develop your own knowledge. Develop ‘thought leadership’
- Social media is all about sharing knowledge so invest time in your own learning.
- And of course, be social! Use social media to get to know people.
5. Remember the content you share represents your online brand
- Everything you share starts to build up a picture of who you are. So, don’t be afraid of sharing content, but do always ensure you’re sharing content which actively supports your online personal brand and never post, share or say anything online that you would not state openly to a room of people.
I hope that starts you thinking about your own personal brand, and how to develop it online. For anyone wanting to grow and develop and progress their career, change roles, or just develop their thinking then social media, and a personal brand is invaluable and will enable you to ace what you do. Good Luck!