In this digital, fast-paced world, we all end up creating a personal brand for ourselves – voluntarily or involuntarily. However, those who realise how important their personal brand is and make efforts to enhance it are the ones who reap the benefits.
Here are some tips on how you can build a strong personal brand both online and offline:
1. Be yourself
Your personal brand is what you want to be known as. If you do not want to portray the ‘real’ you to the world, it will be an extremely difficult task to sustain the exercise. So, whether it is on social media or when you actually meet people, it is best to be your authentic self.
102. Have an opinion
Whether it is a global event or a book you just read, make sure you have a clear opinion of it. Then, let others know about it through social media platforms, blogs, and during discussions at work. Even when you are sharing an article on LinkedIn or Facebook, make sure you add what you think about it before sharing it. Of course, you need to be tolerant towards those who do not agree with you and beg to differ.Building a personal brand
3. Love your job
Doing this will help you not just enjoy your present but will also secure a bright future. After all, who wouldn’t want to hire a passionate employee? Make an effort to keep up with the changing trends, norms, and news in your industry. If you have the knowledge, it’ll show in your conversations with others – both online and offline.
4. Identify your USP
Your unique strength will play a critical role in building a strong personal brand. So, it is extremely important to identify it. This will be the characteristic or quality you will be known for. So make sure you pick the right one. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is a great example of finding a cause and working towards making it big.
You cannot be aloof and expect to build an influential personal brand. Maintain a database of the people you have studied and worked with and be in touch with them regularly. Online, you could retweet their tweets and comment on their posts; offline you could hold joint events with them.
In Singapore, many forums organize networking events. There are many strong networks for women leaders and entrepreneurs, start-ups, corporate trainers, life coaches and many more. Look up meet-ups or LinkedIn networking groups.
6. Become an influencer
The Internet gives you ample opportunities to have a voice and propagate it. Once you have a vast network of people from the same industry as yours, you could start using social media tools such as LinkedIn Publishing and blogs. You could also create short videos or write a book!
For example, former CEO and founder of PayPal Peter Thiel wrote Zero to One and Jack Welch, Former CEO of General Electric, wrote Jack: Straight from the Gut, both best sellers.
7. Be empathetic and polite
Your personal brand isn’t just based on your knowledge but also your basic mannerisms and behaviour towards others. So, while writing comments, reacting to opinions and criticisms online, make sure you are polite and gracious. Also, note that people might not always remember your words but will always remember your actions. So, be kind every time. You won’t regret it.
8. Set goals
Masses admire those individuals who know what they want from their lives and work towards achieving it. Be that individual. Set short-term and long-term goals and set deadlines for yourself. Then, make all efforts to meet them and achieve those goals. This practice will not only make you successful but also confident. And of course, people will notice this discipline.
9. Be passionate about a hobby
Don’t we all love those CEOs who also have a fun hobby like football or photography? You could be outstanding at your work, but all work and no play will add dullness to your image. If you have a hobby like playing golf or the guitar, make sure you dedicate some time to it. This will add to your overall development and branding.
For example, ‘fun’ founder of Virgin Group Richard Branson is known to have many hobbies such as yachting, playing chess, and kite surfing. Bill Gates loves spending his spare time playing bridge or tennis.
10. Give back
A strong personal brand is a result of 360-degree efforts. This means once you achieve success, it is equally important to give back to society. Join an NGO, volunteer at a school, or help institutions carry out blood donation drives. This will not only enhance your personal branding by giving it a compassionate angle but also give you satisfaction and happiness.
In 2013, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet started The Giving Pledge, a foundation that encourages billionaires to donate half their wealth to charity. We may not be billionaires just yet, but we all can start small!
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