Personal branding is more than just a way to market yourself as a talented candidate — it’s also a valuable tool for connecting with people within your industry.
Instead of creating a personal brand only to advertise your name, build a brand to network with successful people in your industry. Your network is one of the most powerful resources in your career, so it’s important you engage with those relationships on a regular basis.
In order to create an engaging personal brand, follow these five steps to build more relationships and appear on the radar of recruiters and employers:
1. Provide unique content to draw people in. Your personal brand should extend beyond your LinkedIn profile. Not only should your content illustrate who you are as a professional, but it should also provide value for your audience. Make sure to share useful tools and advice in addition to your career story, in order to provide valuable content. You want to draw people into your personal brand with your expertise, so provide something they will enjoy and likely share with the people in their networks.
2. Utilize platforms suited for your brand. It’s important to find social media platforms to optimize your personal brand. Social media serves as a microphone for your personal brand, so choose wisely when you develop your strategy. Make sure you select platforms you can navigate and can use on a daily basis. Once you choose the platforms that work best for you, stick with them and update often. Whether it’s a combination of Twitter and Pinterest or WordPress and LinkedIn, choose platforms to maximize who you are as a professional.
3. Start sharing your content. After creating unique and engaging content for your brand, it’s time to share! When you share your content, encourage conversation with your audience. Ask your networks to provide input about what they think of your content. If you choose to share advice columns, stir up conversation by sharing photos and asking questions. This will help you spark conversations and begin the steps of building relationships within your network.
4. Develop strong connections. As you continue to follow people in your industry and talk about the latest trends, you’ll discover there are certain people who pay close attention to your brand. If you notice a particular person sharing your content on a regular basis or engaging in conversation, reach out to them. You’ll discover what you have in common with those people, which can lead to opportunities down the road in your career.
5. Follow up in a timely fashion. Believe it or not, the time you take to follow up with a person can shape the path of your relationship. It’s important to respond to emails, blog comments, and Tweets in a timely fashion. Your timeliness will show how much you care about engaging with your network and building strong relationships. You’ll find as you continue conversations, people will begin to offer you favors and share valuable information with you to help you advance your career.
By following these steps, you will be able to create an engaging personal brand. Remember, your personal brand is how you want people to know and remember you. The relationships you form will take you far in your career, therefore by providing an engaging personal brand, people will continue to stay in touch along the way.
What ways have your built an engaging personal brand?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.