How to: create your personal brand

By Sarah Dawood

Your personal brand is a way of marketing yourself to prospective employers. It provides you with the opportunity to communicate your value to the right people in a credible, compelling way. For most people, a personal brand is not something that has been consciously created, but it exists nonetheless. Your online presence and digital footprint contribute to your brand, as does your career history, portfolio of work and even your personal interests. Your personal brand is an ongoing process of establishing your name and principles to the wider world.

Here is our personal brand marketing plan to help you create your own.

Find your target market

To successfully market any product or service, you must first get your positioning correct. The same is true for marketing yourself. You need to identify your target audience, where their needs lie and how your strengths can help them. Once you have identified the gaps in the market, you can determine how your skills can become an invaluable resource.

Identify the problem you will solve

Once you have aligned your target market with the strengths and skills you have, you need to identify what problem you can solve for them. Try asking yourself the following questions:

  • What problem can I solve?
  • Who will that help?
  • How will it help them?
  • Why do I want to solve that problem?
  • Why am I the best person to solve this problem?

Make sure the issue you wish to solve is one you genuinely care about. It’s important for your brand to be viable and authentic and therefore your work should be something you are dedicated to. Aim to find the perfect mix – an issue to solve, the skills to solve it and a real interest in the end result.

Get your message out there

Distribution is key to any marketing campaign. Once you’ve positioned your brand and identified your goals, you need to spread the word and reach your audience. There are many traditional ways of doing this – networking, conferences, calls. But in the digital age, the most effective distribution strategy is an online one. Do the following:

  • Have a personal website that communicates your brand.
  • Use LinkedIn to tell your story, register a unique username url and make sure you have a profile photo.
  • Contribute regularly on social media, posting relevant and interesting content.
  • Schedule your content to post at peak times.
  • Share/repost other contributors’ content and they might do the same for you.
  • Make sure you are connected with other experts in your field through social media.
  • Start a blog – it may be a big investment timewise but there’s nothing better if you’re looking to set yourself up as an expert in your field.

Alongside your digital strategy, preparing an elevator pitch is a great way to ensure you’re also still building in-person connections. An elevator pitch works on the premise that you have a maximum of two minutes to sell yourself to someone. When the lift reaches that person’s floor, your time is up! So you’ve got just enough time to give a concise and compelling pitch and no time for long-winded explanations or your entire career history.

Remember, your personal brand is ongoing and will naturally evolve as you do, but having a strategic approach to the elements you can control is a good way to improve your career prospects. A great personal brand can help you get a better job, differentiate you from your competition and build credibility within your sector or industry.

Need some more advice on getting your dream job? We’ve created a ‘how to’ guide on all you could ever want to know when searching for your next role; from getting started with your job hunt, to making sure you’re earning the right salary, to smashing your interview. We’ve also just updated it with a brand new chapter including tips on upskilling, networking, pitching and more. Download it for free at aquent.co.uk/lp/getting-a-job.

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