You invest a lot of time into your career. You get certifications or maybe even a degree or two. You keep up with the latest industry news. You sign up for continuing education training and programs. You do your work.
But you aren’t getting where you want to go.
If you are doing all you can to improve yourself and enhance your capabilities, but you are still not getting the career success you seek, then you’re not alone. Many people believe they check off all the boxes and expect promotions, new jobs, and new clients to follow. And so they are disappointed when that doesn’t happen.
Despite checking off what you think are all the boxes, you could be left behind if you don’t do one important thing: build your personal brand. Personal branding is not an option in today’s connected world. And thanks to digital technology, it’s something any serious professional or entrepreneur can do. Personal branding is about marketing yourself in a positive way to show off your capabilities and expertise.
While there are many options for building your personal brand online, here are three tried and true ways that you can get started using immediately.
Create valuable content
Content is a cornerstone of any personal brand. Content helps to educate, entertain, and inspire your audience. It also serves the purpose of helping you stand out as someone who shares helpful and valuable information. You can create content in a variety of formats, so there really is no excuse for not creating content. You can blog or create ebooks, if writing is your thing. You can podcast if you prefer to do something with audio. You can livestream or produce videos if that’s more your speed.
Whatever you do, be sure that you create content that is relevant and helpful to your audience. If you are interested in getting promoted on the job, then create and share content that shows off your expertise and ability to do the job you are angling for. If you are interested in landing new clients as a small business owner, then produce content that addresses the pain points and problems of your intended client.
Share the right stuff on social media
Social media has leveled the playing field when it comes to being able to share a message or access a new audience. There was a time when gatekeepers carefully guarded access to people who may be interested in what you do. Now, the gates have been removed! You can gain access to people in your own community or clear across the world, thanks to social media. So now that you have access to an audience, attract and engage that audience with the right content. Share your own content, as well as that from trusted sources, that is of interest and help to your audience. Share content that is on-topic, useful, and interesting.
If you share content that is poorly done or that is always off topic or that is of little use to your audience, then you are wasting an opportunity to grow your brand. Instead, you will find that those you are connected with on social media will ignore what you post, or even unfollow or unsubscribe to you. So post content that helps you connect with them.
Have an opinion
When it comes to building a personal brand online, taking a stand is important. This doesn’t mean you must take a stand on every issue or on those you really have no opinion on. But it does mean you should look for opportunities to share your beliefs, values, and opinion in relevant ways. Don’t be afraid to offer your take on industry news or topics related to your area of expertise.
Sharing your opinion helps others see that you are a real person. This is also a way for you to connect with others on an emotional level, as you can share what you are passionate about or truly believe in. Sharing an opinion also removes you from the “me too” chorus. You see, there are many professionals and business owners who are afraid to step out and express a viewpoint. They are happy to continually share “me too” notions, as they simply regurgitate what is already out there. They simply repeat what the “gurus” in their field say. You can be different.
This isn’t about being different just for the sake of being different. No, this is about realizing that your opinion matters and it’s quite fine to express it. You don’t have to blindly follow what everyone else is doing.
And while it can be a smart personal branding strategy to share your opinion, be sure you are sharing your opinion on matters that are on topic and relevant to your audience, especially if the opinions are controversial. It does your brand little good to share controversial opinions that are off topic, provide no benefit to you besides letting off stream, and have little to do with helping you land your next career opportunity. Don’t get distracted from your purpose in building your personal brand. You don’t have to spout off on everything. Just share your opinions on the right things — things that are relevant to your audience or those you truly believe in and are passionate about. In this, you can be yourself and show what you are all about.
Of course, even if you share an unpopular opinion or you share one that contracts someone in your audience, be sure to share it in a respectful way. You can disagree without being obnoxious about it. The fact that you can disagree with others and not resort to name-calling, trolling, or negativity can actually be a way to build your brand, as others can see that you are able to carry yourself with grace, and so their opinion of you increases.
While these are three sure-fire ways to build your personal brand online, none of these will build a personal brand if it’s only a one-time action. Building a personal brand is about repeated actions over time, so don’t just create one piece of content, or share one update, or express one opinion. Instead, weave these activities into what you regularly do online, and before long, you’ll find that you are getting noticed and known for the work you do. And in so doing, you can begin to attract more of the opportunities you desire.
She is the host of the Chase Your Star with Monica Carter Tagore podcast, an online show on life strategy, personal growth, and entrepreneurship, available on iTunes, Google Play, and Spreaker.
Monica is the author of several books, including her most recent, "Stronger: 31 Inspirational Messages to Get You Through That Tough Time."
She helps entrepreneurs and professionals gain the mindset and skills for success. She also helps them build brands.
She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two boys.
Latest posts by Monica Carter Tagore (see all)
- CYS episode 36 — Danger Ahead: Two beliefs standing in the way of your dreams - June 20, 2017
- It’s not too late to Chase Your Star - May 7, 2017
- Why your website is the foundation of your branding and marketing strategy - April 14, 2017