You’ve recently heard that, if you want to impress employers, you need a strong personal brand. Although you have an idea of what personal branding is, you have no idea how to identify your brand or how to build one.
When it comes to building a strong personal brand, your first step is to figure out who you are as an individual, as well as a professional. Although this might take a little soul searching and reflection, it’s one of the most important steps of building a strong personal brand.
As you begin thinking about your personal brand, it’s a good idea to do some research. This research consists of finding things that inspire who you are as an individual and finding out what others think of you when they hear your name.
To identify what you want to display in your personal brand, here are four ways to research your personal brand:
1. Find words that describe your brand.
A great start to finding inspiration for your personal brand is to make a list of words that describe who you are as a person. Think of words that describe your personality, values, and worth ethic. As your list begins to grow, start narrowing it down into the words you want to be recognized by.
For example, you determine that you are a creative, ambitious, and trustworthy individual. These are words you can use in your brand when building your portfolio, writing your LinkedIn summary, and participating in conversations on social media.
2. Ask your friends, family, and mentors to describe your brand.
Another great way to research your personal brand is by asking what others think of you when they hear your name.
For example, ask one of your close friends to describe you in three words. Next, ask a relative to describe you in three words. As you continue to ask more people about how they think of you, use these adjectives as a source of inspiration for your brand.
3. Create a list of what you like and don’t like about your brand.
If you discover that there are some things you want to change about how people perceive your brand, make a list of what you like and don’t like about your reputation.
Once you create your list, learn how you can emphasize your positive qualities and improve your negative qualities. For example, if you discover that you are too much of a perfectionist and it’s keeping you from being successful, find ways in your life where you can become more flexible and easygoing.
4. Do research on what people say about your brand online.
If you’re actively participating on social media or have a blog, pay close attention to what people say about your brand online.
Do you receive endorsements on LinkedIn? Are people commenting on your blog posts? These are all bits of feedback you can use to shape your personal brand.
Researching your personal brand is an important step in building a strong reputation for yourself. As you continue to learn more about your qualities and how people perceive your personality and talents, use these strengths to create a unique personal brand.