Personal branding is a concept that has become increasingly popular with the rise of social media, but what does it actually mean? And more importantly, how can you use it to be successful in your career and life in general?
Whether you recognize it or not, you are already a brand. You have certain characteristics that make you unique and establishes an image for yourself. Branding is a way of marketing to formally “claim yourself” as an individual, and not fall victim to stereotyping. This can be accomplished through social media, developing products, creating content, etc.
Now that you have an understanding of what personal branding is, grab a pen and paper and see if you can answer the following questions. This is a good starting point to build the foundation of your brand:
- What are you passionate about?
- What are your unique skills?
- Where do you see yourself in three, five or even ten years?
- What are your goals in life?
- What do the people around you currently say about you?
- What does Google’s search results say about you?
SWOT Analysis for Your Personal Brand
With the answers to these questions in mind, you can also do a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. These are usually done for businesses but are easily applicable to an individual. What are you good at? What areas of your life could use some work? Where are the areas for growth and opportunities? And finally, what is your competition doing in the field you’re interested in?
Brainstorming Exercises for Personal Branding
All of this information may seem overwhelming, but these exercises are simple to make you think about what you want out of your personal brand and forecast where you want to be. Using the answers to your brainstorming exercises, check out these three steps to get started:
- Choose your platform, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or even starting your own website. Choose a medium that aligns with your personal branding goals.
- Create original content and share it with the world. Take photos, write blogs, post videos, and make a name for yourself.
- Engage with your community of influencers by sharing, liking, and commenting. Developing content for yourself is great, but if you don’t acknowledge what else is out there, then you will lose your competitive edge.
In a world comprised of billions of people, it’s too easy to blend in with the crowd. But there are numerous advantages to making yourself stand out among your peers or competitors. In an academic setting, branding yourself allows you to take advantage of great opportunities that may propel you in your career. The goal is to be eye-catching to employers. In a work setting, defining your individuality means you’re not simply a person in the workforce, but a colorful individual with deep passions and motivations.