A continuation of yesterday‘s conversation about Levo League‘s article on nurturing your brand. I did some research today and found another brand-related advice article. I quite liked how this one set out specific instructions and guides on ways to increase your brand’s reputation. It reiterated the sentiments I picked up from the self employment workshops I attended recently, as well as some key things I learned from my degree.
Here’s my step-guide on personal branding, from various sources and my own experiences.
1 – Get out there
And in whichever way possible. If you’re lucky enough to be a social butterfly in a city full of opportunities then find events, make plans and go outside to meet the people. A face and voice are always a more lasting impression. If, like me, this option eludes you, then make the internet your friend. Be on Facebook, be on Twitter, be on LinkedIn. Be searchable. Not every recruiter cares, this is true, but there are employers (and I’ve met them) who will throw out a CV without a glance if they can’t find a sniff of you on Google. Don’t be a ghost! Get a presence.
2 – Get connected
This is a simple one. Make friends. Meet those people at the events and swap business cards. Get email addresses. Make connections on LinkedIn. Follow relevant sources on Twitter.
3 – Offer a service
This one is about getting attention. Provide content. Blog about your field. If you can’t generate your own useful information then do your research and find those titbits others missed. Pass it forward. If not a source, be a portal. Give people what they need, and they will begin to remember you.
A good anecdote of this is a guy I remember from University. I updated my own LinkedIn profile earlier, and I added a host of people I wasn’t connected to before. Then one name cropped up on my list. I’d never been introduced to him myself – he wasn’t one of the most interactive and in-your-face people, the leaders and out-there types I’d added in a heartbeat knowing I’d be accepted. I hesitated, because I knew of this guy from what friends had said. Only good things – hard-working, motivated, someone to be admired. What would my connection bring to him, I asked, and I couldn’t think of an answer that satisfied me. Would he know me by reputation in return? I doubted it.
But there was my problem. He was doing something I clearly wasn’t if I was so unsure about adding him on my profile. In this scenario, I didn’t want to be myself. I didn’t want to question my reputation. I wanted to be him – secure in the picture I’ve painted for myself. And even that, I know, is just an illusion I’ve painted. Who knows what he sees when he looks at his own tree’s shadow.
I’m going to write a list of all my career goals. I know I can’t accomplish all of them – carrying on with the tree metaphor from Levo League’s article, I am the trunk. The career goal is a fruit. I need to grow the branch to reach the point where I can bear such a fruit. And even though I can’t climb them all at once (I’d have to choose when the time comes) it doesn’t hurt to have options. I need to nurture every branch, so that my brand is as it should be.
Another, final point. Or buzzword, if you will. Connectivity. One of my favourites from university. I’m going to consider rekindling my long-lost buttons from my old blog and giving you, my readers, a chance to get to know my brand a little better. True, my old brand was very entertainment-led. I was trying to break into the media reviewing industry, and have since decided that isn’t my desired niche, but it’s still good fun, and has given me a wealth of useful experience and knowledge for my current vocations. And so that means some of my old buttons are potentially relevant, and new ones are definitely needed.
If any of you have career goals or branding tips I’d love to hear them.
PS. Other useful articles I’ve found:
5 Ways to use Social Media to Stand Out as a Job Applicant