4 Essentials to Building Your Personal Brand Online

4 Essential blog post

 

Personal branding: the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Sounds easy enough but where do you start? It’s not hard to do, it just takes time and dedicated effort. Here are 4 essentials to building your personal brand online.

 

1) Google Yourself – many people are surprised by what people can find then they simply google you. Most recruiters start with Google. If you don’t like what shows up (or if nothing shows up) start building an online presence for yourself that really stands out.

 

2) Make your LinkedIn Amazing – everyone knows that LinkedIn matters, but many people simply put their resume on LinkedIn and call it a day. The goal of LinkedIn isn’t just to “not suck”. The goal should be to WOW people. Everyone can create a WOW LinkedIn profile – it just takes thought and some research to find out what employers/recruiters are searching. What will make your profile stand out from the millions of others? (Extra tip….don’t forget a professional profile picture, that means no pictures from your last get- together, with your friend cropped out but their arm still around you!!!)

 

3) Determine, what is your brand? What are the key things you want to highlight? A strong personal brand is memorable and positions you well. Yet many people simply put their resume online and never get the WOW factor of creating a brand that will put you at the top of every recruiters/employers short list. Everyone should know the 2 – 4 accomplishments that really impress people – and highlight these online and in person. Determine the personality and professional traits that really set you apart – feature these on all of your profiles.

 

4) Think KEYWORDS and SEARCH – most recruiters report searching for people online. If you don’t have the right words in your online profiles you won’t be found. Use the words that recruiters search for in all of your online profiles (especially LinkedIn) to increase the probability that people file you.

 

It’s not rocket science to create your personal brand online. Do your research, consider what your goals are and what you want to convey to potential employers. Have a few people take a look at your resume, your LinkedIn profile, etc and see if they have something to add. You may be underselling yourself or forgetting some of the important professional achievements you’ve had throughout the years. An extra set of eyes can be helpful!

 

Personal Branding in 2016: 6 Things You Should Do For Yourself

Personal Branding blog Post

Maybe it is a little early for 2016 posts – but I’m an over-achiever.

As the new year quickly approaches many people are thinking about their personal brand and wondering how they can grow their reputation next year.

Do yourself a favor. Invest in yourself and your personal brand in 2016.

An investment in your personal brand pays off over your lifetime.

Here are 5 simple things that you can commit to do in 2016 to start growing a powerful personal brand:

  1. Craft an AMAZING LinkedIn profile. Not just an “ok” one. Make it amazing. It isn’t rocket science. Make your LinkedIn profile stand-out and represent you well. LinkedIn is likely the top place people will go to learn more about you (it shows up at the top of search). Look amazing.
  2. Audit Yourself – Audit your social networks. What impressions are you creating based on what you post about yourself? What impression do you want to create? Look at your Facebook posts or other social networks from the eyes of someone else – what would they think about you? Are you negative? Positive? Passionate? Excited?
  3. Google Yourself – What can someone discover about you when they Google you? Hopefully nothing too damaging, but overall, what information is out there and what picture does it paint?
  4. Check your Privacy Settings – Seriously, check your privacy settings on your personal social networks. Make sure that your personal information is secure and that you know who can see the content that you post.
  5. Create a Presence for Yourself that You Control – This could be a personal website (if you have the time) or a simple landing Page (like an about.me profile). Create a personal presence that you control that makes you really stand out. This investment will pay off again and again.
  6. Commit to Be Amazing – As you evaluate your social presence, consider the type of brand that you want to create for yourself. Do you want to be perceived as passionate? Hardworking? Smart? Dedicated? Professional? Successful? Kind? Caring? However you want to be perceived, your posts tell the story. If you want people to think you are positive, but you constantly complain about people, politics or businesses, you’ll craft a negative impression of yourself. What you post tells your story. Commit to telling the story you want to tell.

Why Every Professional Should Evaluate Their Online Brand

personal brand audit

Every business professional can benefit from assessing their personal brand online. The reality is that people are searching for you – they are looking for information about you to assess your credibility. What they find creates their impression about you – and you want your first impression to be amazing.

It isn’t good enough to have a mediocre presence, or one that “just isn’t bad”. Your online presence should be amazing and present you in the best possible light.

Here is why you should care about your online brand:

  • It is your first impression: Increasingly people search for you before they meet you, respond to an email or return a call. What they find creates the first impression. Just as you’d put on a great suit for a first meeting, your online brand should put your best foot forward.
  • It can make or break your credibility: Your online brand can make or break your credibility. People judge you based on what they find online – this can help you or hurt you.
  • Negatives may hurt you: Many people aren’t aware of some of the negative or less than perfect things that show up in search engine results when people search for them. These negatives can be hurting your reputation – and you may not even know about it.
  • Your personal social networks may show up: Many people are surprised to find that their personal social networks show up in search results. While this may not be terrible, it may not represent you in the best personal light. Knowing privacy settings and the information that is publicly viewable is important.
  • 80% of people use online searches to assess people they do business with: Most people are searching for you…..

Ready to take action?

Get started with a personal brand assessment: Get our free 7 point personal brand assessment here.

Launch Yourself 7 Point Assessment

Want Your Personal Brand to Stand Out? Be Different.

Create a Stand our personal brand

Being different is what makes a brand or an individual stand-out and get noticed. I’ve done a lot of hiring, I’ve seen a lot of speakers, I’ve been to a lot of coaching and consulting websites, and in a world with countless options, being different matters. A lot.

There are a LOT of people, just like you, with the same skills and resume as you. How do you set yourself apart?

You don’t get ahead by doing the same things the same way as everybody else. You get the same results if you do the same things the same ways as everybody else.

Here are 3 dimensions to consider using to separate yourself and be different:

  1. Your Personality

Consider the unique aspects of your personality that people love and that set you apart. You could be funny, easy to work with, extraordinarily disciplined, have a talent for leadership, take initiative….. Whatever it is, figure out the personality traits and soft skills that people really love about you, and focus on making the most out of them. Figure out creative (and appropriate) ways to highlight these every time someone comes into contact with you.

  1. Your Skills/Qualifications

What accomplishments do you have that set you apart? Everyone has some. If you don’t have any, make a list of what you might want and build a plan to go our and get them. For example, you may want media appearances to showcase your credibility. If you don’t have them already, build a plan to focus on this and make it happen.

  1. Physical/In-Person Attributes

Consider how to make your in-person appearances and meetings memorable by focusing on the physical attributes that can make you stand out. I know someone who wears the same thing to all business meetings to grow his brand . One friend of mine has a unique style that makes her memorable. A band I just saw wore masks at one point in the concert, which definitely made them different and memorable.

Once you know the parts of your personality that resonate the most with people, be sure that the execution of your brand consistently brings these to life.

 

Personal Branding Expert Interview: Successful Entrepreneur Farnoosh Brock

FarnooshBrockFarnoosh Brock worked in corporate for Cisco for twelve years, brining in a good income that sustained herself and her family.  In 2009, Farnoosh started to become unhappy with her job and began feeling like something was wrong.  Coming from a technical and logical background, she could not figure out why she was becoming unhappy at work.  To help with how she was feeling, Farnoosh started to blog.  She always enjoyed writing and being creative and expressing herself; blogging for her became an outlet.

Blogging:  A Change of Pace

After a while, Farnoosh’s blog started to grow and more and more people started reading and learning about Farnoosh. Not long after starting to blog, Farnoosh became consumed by the world of social media.  A few years later, while on a new project for work, Farnoosh became more unhappy with her career and life. Farnoosh decided to quit her job to find what she wanted to do that would make her happy.

Farnoosh set out to start her own business to show people a healthier lifestyle based on experiences she had had. Exploring personal happiness was what Farnoosh focused on when she started building up her own brand.

Exploring Her Passions

Farnoosh has been interested in juicing and the benefits of a healthy life.  Like most people who are always working and have families and a million other things to do, with little desire to go to the gym, Farnoosh struggled to remain healthy. She decided to focus on a more organic and holistic lifestyle. juicingFarnoosh does not recommend anything she has not tried to her fans.  To help spread her business, Farnoosh created a Facebook page to reach out to people and joined Twitter and mastered the art of the hashtags.  It is important for Farnoosh to understand the different forms of social media and what she is using them for.

“An author needs a good read,” Farnoosh says, talking about making that personal connection with her fans.  “As long as you can please and connect with a few people, word of your business will spread and more people will come looking for you.”

Connecting With Fans Online

For Farnoosh, she likes to know the people she adds or follows.  She likes to connect to her fans and make a an effort to engage with them.  She starts out having conversations with her fans and commenting on their posts or tweets to show them that she cares about them and is not just another business wanting high numbers on social media sites.

Farnoosh believes that in social media it is ok to talk about a product or promote it.  “As long as you feel comfortable and confident with your product, why would you feel bad about it?  Be happy with what you have done and share your experience and information with others.”  Farnoosh spends about an hour a day on Twitter taking quick scans of interesting tweets, commenting to her fans, or sharing a new tip to try.

Branding Online is About Relationships, Not Numbers

When it comes to social media, Farnoosh thinks in terms of valuable relationships, not numbers.  “After forming a relationship online, and letting people see the real you and wanting to know about you, they will feel more comfortable giving you their email, which will help build up your clientele.”  Through generating her traffic in social media, Farnoosh gained more followers linking pictures to her webpage, linking helpful tips to her webpage, and gaining students to take her classes.

Farnoosh did not have a step by step plan to building her personal brand, “I did what I liked and tried new things.”  Farnoosh caught on quickly to the adjustment and change from being an employee to self-employment.  One of Farnoosh’s first products was a 10-minute program.  She wanted to share what she learned to help others invigorate their bodies with movement and breathing techniques.  She used methods she uses everyday and that she feels happy and comfortable with.  One of her goals was to bring people at large to the healthy lifestyle, especially for those who do not like to work out or feel like they do not have the time to.

Farnoosh Today

Farnoosh is now working with her husband and they are running the brand together.  Her words of advice to people are: “It does not matter what your profession is, as long as you are staying true to yourself.”  Farnoosh says she enjoys the attention and loves that she has an opportunity to do something she believes in for first time in life. She does not feel the need to meet expectations for anyone else beside herself.  Her next product is to help people become happy with who they are in their work place or to find a healthy exit from it.

“In corporate, you loose your sense of your creative genius.  People forget they have the choice – they have the choice to leave and start something new that is true to who they are.”  By focusing on staying true to herself and taking the time to make connections to fans, Farnoosh has grown her personal brand into more than she thought it would ever be and is now happier doing what she enjoys than she ever was working for corporate.

To learn how to grow your own brand, try our personal branding training class!