We have talked through many different aspects of personal branding and the creation of your own. Here are a last couple of points that you can consider.
The Offline World
Whilst employers and recruitment agencies are keen to prioritise social media and the online world, you still have to pay attention to and link your online profile to what happens in the offline world. Having a strong online profile will still only get you so far. If you are not able to interview well and co-ordinate your online information with a strong CV, you could fall down. Also, use your every day work to network with new people. By connecting with them in both an online and offline space, you can build a strong portfolio of people with interesting skills and valuable knowledge that you can tap into.
People will need to see that everything you have built up online is a true and honest reflection of the person in front of them. Consistency is so important: all the work that you have put in to building up your personal brand online will fall flat if you do not live up to it, and this will then lead to it falling apart.
Why it’s necessary to stand out from the crowd
Be a flamingo in a flock of pidgeons! Above all else, it is important to be yourself: hiding behind another brand’s name can influence what you say and how you say it. It is fantastic to learn from your mentors and those whom you admire, but don’t just regurgitate things that they have said and done. Take the lessons you have learnt and build on them in order to create something new that works perfectly for you and what you would like to say and do.
Do not be afraid of putting yourself out there and trying new things: regardless of whether or not they are successful, you will learn something new and build your character. Another thing to be careful to avoid is falling into the background. Generally speaking, brands that embrace what is different/ unique about them can make themselves stand out a lot more. Being too similar to your competition will also create more challenges for you than necessary. If you don’t hone in on your specific skills and your USP, the crowd of faces that you have a danger of blending into will just get larger. You are trying to separate yourself from the competition and from those who want the same things that you do, so use whatever it is that makes you different to your advantage.
Be proud of what you have experienced, particularly that which you have overcome.
Building your personal brand is not something that is achievable over a short period of time: it does take hard work and consistency. But it is one of those things where the more you put into it, the more you will find you get out of it. Brands like Google, McDonalds, Microsoft and Coca Cola are all instantly recognisable now, but once upon a time, nobody knew who or what they were. This clear sense of self is something that is directly transferrable to both the search for a new role and your progression within your career, and we can learn so much from it.