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A personal brand isn’t just for business owners and entrepreneurs. If you don’t know much about marketing and casually found your way into your current role, you may not know what personal branding is, why it’s necessary, or how it can help. Oberlo.com defines personal branding as the practice of creating a brand around a person rather than a business entity. Personal branding furthers people’s careers by positioning them as an industry expert. By developing a personal brand, a person can grow their social following to secure a better job, sell more products in their business, and increase better opportunities in their career.

Success in personal branding doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t come easy. And if your company isn’t discussing professional development or prioritizing community involvement, you won’t feel the support or incentive to create a plan for yourself. So let us share a few tips on building your personal brand to achieve your personal and professional goals efficiently.

Define Your Goals and Audience

First- think about what you want to get out of building a personal brand. As a first step, define your personal and professional goals and think about connecting with the people who can help you reach those goals. How do you want a stranger to view you? What about your coworkers and your community? What do they need to see or hear from you to help you reach your goals? And how often do they need to hear from you? These are the types of questions you must ask yourself (and answer) as a first step to building your personal brand.

Stop and Evaluate Your Current Status

Now that you understand what you want (or don’t want) be strategic and think about where you are now. Take an assessment of where you are in your personal and professional life. What’s happening that is positive and or negative? Are you generally disorganized? Do you need to take some professional courses to update your skill level? Being honest about where you are can be a little painful, but it will help you be realistic about what you actually need to do to get where you want to go.

Networking is Key

social-media-applications-on-phone When you build a strong personal brand, you need to connect with others on a more intimate level. Closeness to other industry professionals and thought-leaders benefits you professionally as you navigate a job search or switch career paths, but it can also improve your daily confidence and authenticity. Get comfortable with reaching out to people. You can do this by finding a mentor, joining professional organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, or joining local volunteer groups. Take this time to open yourself up to online networking as well.

Grow Your Online Presence

Online platforms like LinkedIn are free opportunities to build your personal brand from your laptop or phone. You can quickly broaden your network when you join professional groups online and connect with others within your industry. In a post-covid world, this is big for college graduates

Search for a job title similar to yours and look at what those professionals are doing. Are they connected to other networking groups? Think about joining. Look at their expertise and track the types of Continuing Education courses they have taken in the past. Consider revisiting your online profiles as well- do you have a professional photo or an old, outdated image? Update and clear out old and irrelevant information and untag yourself from unflattering or unprofessional pictures and past events. Please clean it up!

Quick Tip: 99% of professionals should invest in taking professional photos at least once. Not only will it help your online visibility, but you will always have professional photos on-hand in case you have to conduct a presentation or lead an important meeting.

Execute Your Personal Brand Strategy

Once you understand what a personal brand is, how do you execute your brand strategy? After some self-evaluation and planning, it’s time to put your freshly developed brand to use. Begin by finding people you can connect with and resources that are readily available. Get out there and exemplify your personal brand everywhere you go.

Through this process – and as you climb up the ladder – you will eventually start shifting toward becoming a legacy leader. A legacy leader is more than just being a “great” leader; a legacy leader is an emotionally intelligent, visionary thinker, and a demonstrative investor in people. A legacy leader leaves behind an “enduring quality” that generations will remember forever.

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Building a personal brand and becoming a legacy leader takes time. But taking steps to get started today will be an investment in your future self.