When you think of businesspeople who have built memorable personal brands, CEOs like Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey come to mind. However, CEOs aren’t the only ones who can benefit from personal branding. Any manager can boost their career through effective personal branding.
If you haven’t already successfully built your own personal brand, consider trying the following strategies:
1. Clarify Your Professional Aspirations
What is it that you have to offer your audience? What is it that you aren’t doing but want to be doing? Your personal brand could reflect what it is that you do, but you might also want to steer it in the direction of what you want to do. So, for example, if you’re aiming to be the CEO of your company within a few years, make an attempt to build your personal brand in a way that appears worthy of the C-suite.
2. Define the Image You Want to Convey
Ideally, you’ll want your personal brand to convey a strong image that your audience will respond to on an emotional level. Do you want to be perceived as smart? Creative? Playful and fun-loving? Tough? Wise? Empathetic? You’d use a different approach to convey each one of these characteristics in your brand messaging.
Your academic credentials might be relevant to the brand image you are trying to convey. If they are, by all means, flaunt them. For example, let’s say you want to project the brand image of a polished and experienced business leader. If you earned a Master of Management degree, that academic credential could help you to reinforce the image you’re trying to convey, and it would be advantageous to include the credential in your profiles.
Remember, you cannot be all things to all people. Be authentic in the choices you make regarding the brand image you want to convey and the information you choose to emphasize in your communications.
3. Pick Your Platform(s)
Considering the vast number of social media and other platforms available, you can’t be everywhere. You have to pick and choose which one(s) you want to focus on using. Ideally, you’ll want to choose a platform that matches your brand image.
For example, if you’re a manager at a cosmetics company, one of the visual platforms like Instagram or Youtube would most likely be a good choice for creating brand-relevant content. If you’re a manager at a tech startup, LinkedIn or Twitter might be a better choice. It’s also a matter of which media and platforms you personally feel comfortable using. You could use virtually any social media platform for personal branding.
4. Conduct an Audit of Your Current Profiles
If you’ve already been using social media for awhile, you’ll want to take a good look at the content you’ve already posted to ensure it does an outstanding job of conveying the image you’re trying to project. If any particular post or picture doesn’t match with your desired brand image, replace it with something better, or simply delete it.
5. Be Consistent
As you post new content on your website(s), blog(s) and social media platforms, continually review your messaging to ensure that you’re staying on target with the image you’re trying to convey. If you’ve decided you want to be perceived as a strong leader, don’t ever allow wishy-washy language to creep into your communications; always choose clear, strong language that reinforces your sought-after brand image. Likewise, if you want to be perceived as caring, avoid making any statements that could be perceived as heartless or thoughtless.
6. Keep Your Sites Updated
It’s worthwhile to create a posting schedule and stick to it. Daily, twice a week, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly posts could all be viable goals to work towards. If you’re truly committed to the idea of building your personal brand, it’s not ideal to let it go more than a month between updates.
Those are the steps that managers can take to create a solid brand image for themselves. If you’re interested in maximizing your career potential, it’s worth making the effort to take the above suggestions for building and promoting your personal brand.