You, no doubt, have heard about the importance of personal branding. You’ve even decided to start working on your own brand…but what’s next? This is a very common question that has been asked by several senior-level professionals just like you. As it turns out, building a personal brand is hard, but it is critical, and you can do it! Here’s how.
Keep in mind that every employee, and especially every senior-level professional, has something significant to offer a company. You will have to tap into just what your skills and expertise are before you begin crafting your personal brand. In fact, this is the first step of c-level personal branding. It may help to approach this issue from the perspective of an employer and figure out what traits are most desirable in any employee, then work backward to hash out what makes you unique from every other applicant out there. Craft a story about yourself for your hiring audience to read.
Whether you’ve ever done this or not, now’s the time. Google yourself! It will actually help you figure out one of the most important parts of branding yourself—your name. Keep track of how you’re mentioned online and whether it’s in a negative or positive context.
Now that you have an idea of how you’re perceived online, you’ll have to make sure to keep these perceptions under control. Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want potential employers to find later on. If you’ve already engaged in online activities that you wouldn’t necessarily want employers to discover, you will generally have the option to delete them—but be careful! You can never completely erase something from the Internet once it’s there. In the meantime, you can do damage control by carefully considering what you post and only letting pictures and other forms of media slip through if they contribute to your efforts toward personal branding for senior-level managers.
Blogging usually isn’t something executives think of when it comes to boosting c-level personal branding. The benefits are proof enough for you to consider starting one, though. Experienced executives have a lot of knowledge that may be beneficial to many other people. You would be surprised at how many executives search for information online. Getting noticed for articles you write is a great way to enhance your branding. It can also increase your network. Putting a link on your LinkedIn profile to let your connections know where to find your blog is a great way to share your knowledge and build your brand.
You can find other people who’ve built personal brands by connecting with those who are in either the same industry or are alumni from your alma mater. Search through LinkedIn and reach out. Connect with these people as soon as possible for tips on how to better construct your personal brand. If you play your cards right, these new associates should prove valuable!
The concept of personal branding seems simple enough, yet many professionals don’t quite understand the ins-and-outs of it. Personal branding is an ongoing process that can take years to develop, but only seconds to destroy. The real secret to branding is identifying your unique traits and communicating them consistently in everything you do.
Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, CERW, CEMC, is a Certified Professional Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, named one of Forbes "Top 100 Career Websites". Considered an influencer, she is consistently listed as a “Top Career Expert to Follow” on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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