Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Your personal brand defines you as a professional, the value you can bring to an employer and positions you for future opportunities. In today’s hyper-connected, technology-driven world, it’s crucial to have a strong online presence – and social media is the number one way to do so. Here are some ways that you can strengthen your personal brand heading into 2016.
Define How You Want to Represent Yourself
You alone are the key to your professional strengths, vision and aspirations. As such, that is how you need to represent yourself online. Focus on what you’re best at and how that relates to where you want to go. Utilize these keywords in your professional summary across all of your social media assets, blog bios, etc.
Along the same lines as your keywords, one thing that all strong brands have going for them is consistency. From your profile picture to your headline, to the types of content that you share, you should maintain the brand that you create across all of your profiles.
Build Your Network
Now that your social media profiles are all consistent and optimized, it’s time to grow your network of connections. Join LinkedIn groups related to your profession, follow influencers, search hashtags related to your field and connect with like-minded professionals. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can build your community.
Posting regularly is key to maintaining your personal brand online. It’s equally important to share content from others as it is to share content you create. Not only does this help to engage with your community, it will show that you care learning and development from other thought leaders.
Monitor Your Results
Depending on how you decide to brand yourself, you don’t necessarily have to be everywhere. Over time you will notice where your primary source(s) of engagement and connections are coming from. Focus more of your time where it is most impactful to your personal brand.