5 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand Online

Brand. It’s a word you have probably heard about a million times and most likely associate with the name of your favorite running shoes, the logo on your shampoo of choice, the type of smartphone you use, or something along those lines. What you may not think of when you hear the word, however, is your own personal brand. Not only does everything you purchase have a brand, but so do you, and in today’s digitally connected world, your personal brand is more important than ever.

While everyone has a brand, not everyone manages and leverages it for their own personal and professional success. Whether you are employed as a teacher, physician, entrepreneur, real estate agent, baker, candlestick maker or, one of the hardest professions, a parent raising their children at home, what you say and how you build your personal brand is valuable to your success within your environment.  Social media channels just offer a platform in which your voice can be heard.

Building your brand is not hard, but it does take time and a commitment.  Here are a few ways you can build your personal brand:

Be Authentic

The first and most important way to build your own personal brand is to be yourself. It is important to know and understand your strengths, weaknesses, beliefs, etc. and build a personal brand that reflects that. “Faking it until you make it,” won’t do you any good. Just imagine how tiring keeping up that fake persona would be. People will be able to sense if you’re not being yourself, and will not feel they are able to trust someone who they see as being “fake.”

Showing your personality can be a great way to gain the trust of others. When they can see the real you they will find it easy to relate, and trust will come along naturally. By understanding yourself and your personality, you can begin to build an authentic brand.

Create an Online Presence

In a world dominated by the internet and social media, it is crucial to build and maintain an online presence. The conversation online and on social media is happening with or without you, so you may as well join in.

Statistics show that as of this year, 78% of Americans have at least one social media profile. That percentage has continuously grown over the years and shows no signs of slowing down. Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram  are all great ways to showcase your personality, hobbies, and interests while LinkedIn can be used to show off career success and skills. They can give people a glimpse into your life and are a vital part of building your personal brand.

If you’re already on social media, it’s a great idea to go through and audit all your social profiles and even Google yourself. You need to see how others perceive you based on your online presence and from there you can make changes accordingly. Do your profiles contain anything you wouldn’t want your boss, coworkers, or Grandmother to see? Do you come across as professional while still maintaining your personality? These are the types of questions you need to ask yourself while looking through posts and photos on your social media accounts. Once you have created or enhanced existing social profiles you can actively manage them for your own personal success.

Be a Thought Leader

Driving innovation and developing new strategies in your industry can greatly impact your personal brand. By identifying your skills and continuously building on them you can become an expert in your field. Staying on top of all the trends and technology is key in this process and by sharing new ideas and knowledge you can show others your understanding and expertise. A great way to start is by creating a blog where you share original content on a regular basis. This can be a great platform to speak up and become more well known in your industry and sharing your blog posts on social media will help drive traffic to your blog.

Build Your Network

By connecting with other thought leaders and experts within your industry, you are making yourself more well known. Reach out to others with similar interests in person and through social media by commenting, liking, etc. and many people will return the favor. Associating yourself with people who are well known and trusted will enhance your personal brand and make you more credible. Finding mentors within your industry can also be a great way to network with others while learning along the way. You never know what a connection may lead to.

While building a strong professional network is important for success, it is also important to have a strong personal network. Surrounding yourself with people who challenge you in a good way and bring out your best side is key to finding balance while building your personal brand.

Never Stop Learning

No matter how much you know about yourself or your industry, there will always be room for learning. In today’s world, it seems that technology causes things to change faster than ever before, and staying up to date is crucial. Remaining relevant as well as constantly learning new skills will strengthen your personal brand and lead you to success.

There is a personal brand attached to you no matter what, and whether you manage and strengthen that brand is up to you. Having a strong, positive brand is vital to your professional life and your personal life as well. These are just a few ways you can leverage your brand for success, and don’t forget, it’s a personal brand…so be yourself!

About the Author

Cailyn Chrystal is a Project Manager at 898 Marketing.  Cailyn develops strategies and manages implementation of content through social media channels for 898 Marketing and it’s clients, as well as optimization strategies for websites and content. Cailyn is a native of Youngstown, Ohio, and a graduate of Duquesne University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Communications.