Could your personal brand use some work?
These six strategies cost virtually nothing to deploy and work in just about any industry. It’s high time you gave them a try — because no one is better positioned to tell your story than, well, you.
- Learn How to Network for Mutual Benefit
Networking is a two-way street. “Poor networking methods generally derive from a ‘me-against-the-world’ attitude,” writes CareerCast senior columnist Taunee Besson. In other words, if you don’t realize — fast — that your networking foils also want to get something out of the relationship, you’re probably going to fail to make crucial connections that could burnish your brand.
Or, to be blunter about it: don’t be a selfish networker.
- Invest in a Credible Website
Make sure your website is something you’d be proud to show a college-level web design class. More importantly, make sure it’s rich with credible, authoritative content that’s squarely within your professional wheelhouse. As a case in point, this personal website for noted film producer David Mimran focuses fairly narrowly on issues related to the film industry, taking care to speak to aspiring filmmakers that Mimran might well be in a position to help.
- Launch an Email Newsletter or Digital Paper
Extend your authority beyond your personal website with an email newsletter or digital paper that aggregates news and information relevant to your professional domain. Your goal here is to become someone to whom people turn first for accurate news and analysis. You’ll need to work on your social media game in parallel, of course: Twitter and LinkedIn are both great vectors for delivering authoritative content to a mostly professional network.
- Work on Skills and Capabilities Replicated by Few Others in Your Network
In short, develop a killer value proposition and stick to it. Ask yourself: what do I do better than just about everyone else I know? Turn that into a concise statement of value, then work on living it every day.
- Don’t Try Too Hard to Smooth Out Your Warts
Everyone has flaws. Everyone. You don’t have to lean into yours, but it won’t do you any good to pretend they don’t exist either.
How you choose to walk this line is up to you. Just know that you’re likely to engender more goodwill if you don’t come off like you’ve been airbrushed to oblivion.
- Practice What You Preach (And Make Sure Others Know It)
In that same vein, practice what you preach every day — and make sure everyone else knows it. This goes beyond your value proposition, to the wider universe of personal and professional values that inform your decision-making. In a word: be genuine, and make no apologies about it.
How’s Your Brand Coming Along?
Your personal brand is a work in progress — and that’s okay. Putting together the optimal self-image is a marathon, not a sprint. As long as you’re putting one foot in front of the other, you’re moving in the right direction.
If you’re overwhelmed by everything you need to do to burnish your personal brand, set manageable goals for yourself and stick to them. Review this list and resolve to begin on one new item each week. Block off time to buckle down when you’re not attending to higher-priority matters. And reward yourself for each new milestone.
Most importantly, believe that a better personal brand is within reach. It is — and it’s all because of you.