Personal branding sets us apart from others in our industries. It is multifaceted, including things from logos and websites to content strategy and social media. But before undertaking your personal branding journey — or if you've already begun — there are four guidelines to keep in mind.
In business, your brand is the personality and reputation of your company or organization. The same applies for your personal brand. How are you perceived in your industry, among peers and colleagues? What are you known for? One of my favorite parts of personal branding is self-reflection. Are you into public speaking, or do you prefer thought leadership through written work? Is your working style driven by logic? Creativity? Emotion? Strategy? A combo of these? It's important to know who you are so you know what course to chart. To select the best events, outlets, partners, etc. to accelerate your personal brand, you must know what's on-brand in the first place.
Be yourself, consistently.
Once you know your brand, keep it consistent. Do you have a visual identity you use for materials, like a logo, letterhead, photos? Are you using a particular color palette or theme with your website, press kits, or resumes? What about your online presence? Be sure to snag your domain name and social media handles, and keep them consistent. For example, firstnamelastname.com, and then @firstnamelastname on Twitter, AND @firstnamelastname on Instagram (if applicable), AND on whatever other channels fit your work. The direct route to credibility is consistency.
Alright, so we've got a great understanding of your personal brand identity, both in who you are and how you present yourself online, on paper, and to the public. Now what?
Remember that change is a thing.
This sounds counterproductive to the first three points, right? Wrong. The best brands stand the test of time because they are willing to mold when the need arises. Trends change in your industry, among communication channels; politics and economics create shifts; at some point, you'll need to change. And this is totally fine. In fact, you should welcome it with warm cookies and open arms. Adaptability to the world around you shows your commitment to your work and a flexibility that makes people comfortable working with you.
Show me your personal brand! Leave a comment below or tag us on Instagram!