We all need branding to take our place in our professional environment and advance our careers.
Today, both in business development where clients are increasingly demanding, and in job search where recruiters are increasingly selective, competition is fierce. So a real personal brand strategy is essential for anyone wishing to promote their professional project, their expertise, and develop their notoriety.
What is personal branding?
Personal branding is a process as old as our humanity and which is part of our company’s codes to develop its reputation and professional notoriety. It aims to build a strong personal brand to make itself known and then recognized as an expert in its field of activity, on the communication channels favored by its targets
For a brand image to be strong, it must be authentic, clear and understandable by all.
Personal branding consists of revealing your personality, asserting your added value, your talents, highlighting your difference, and thus breaking out of anonymity, in order to:
- be more visible to its targets: prospects or recruiters;
- achieve professional goals: find potential clients or employers.
Where does personal branding come from?
It was Tom Peters, former McKinsey consultant and American author famous for his books on management, who first used the word personal branding, in 1997, in an article published in “Fast Company”, where he wrote : “No matter our age, no matter what position, no matter what company we work for, we all need to understand the importance of branding. We are the boss of our own company, the Moi company. Our most important job in business today is promoting the Moi brand. “
If it exists in the United States for fifteen years, in France, country where one does not like to put too much forward, country of the saying “to live happily, live hidden”, its adoption was much. slower and later. But today it is largely driven by the growing use of social media.
4 steps to build your personal branding
- Step 1: Answer the questions “Who am I?” What do I do? “First of all, it is essential to carry out a deep introspection to get to know yourself, to become aware of your aspirations, your goals, in terms of career and business.
- Step 2: Take stock of its added value, of what you can bring, by playing the card of differentiation. And to express your difference, you have to be aware of three things: yourself (step 1), the targets to be reached and the ecosystem in which you operate: your peers and your competitors.
- Step 3: Build your communication strategy according to your personality, your objectives, your targets, to send others an authentic message consistent with your intentions, which marks their minds. There is no hiding a strong brand.
- Step 4: Multiply contacts and develop your network. Having a strong personal brand means being connected to a network that promotes the virality of your message. Within this network, it will be necessary to concentrate its efforts on hardcore which will know how to help you. The network is the best ally for expanding your brand.
8 tips to develop your personal branding on social networks
The notion of personal branding has particularly developed with the advent of the Internet and social networks, which, all of a sudden, have made it possible to become visible and to develop one’s network.
Today, the web is a public place that can no longer be ignored in order to develop its notoriety and reputation. With the Internet everything becomes more and more transparent, search engines can easily tell us about anyone. So we absolutely have to take charge of our image if we don’t want the Internet to take care of it for us, to the detriment of what we want to communicate about ourselves.
Indeed, it must be understood that when you post something on the Internet and on social networks, it is destined to stay there. It is therefore essential to master and manage everything that you say on the Internet, because this will have a positive or negative impact on your personal branding.
Here are 8 tips for using social media to your advantage to develop your personal branding:
- Create your profile on the social networks that matter in 2021: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat. If you are unfamiliar with a network, leave it aside for now. Start by creating your profile on those you master, you will come back to the others later. Because a profile created without any content will damage your brand image.
- Standardize your image. To do this, use the same photo on each of the networks. Of course, a recent professional photo and not a photo from ten years ago, because that’s the first thing your visitors will see. All of us, looking at a face, make a first impression on the person. Your photo is therefore an essential part of your brand image: it is your first opportunity to create a strong impression.
- Create your domain name by purchasing your first and last name. This is particularly important for professions where you are bought as a person (consultants, coaches, trainers, authors, bloggers)
- Be active on your social accounts. People follow you because they care about the story you tell, the values you convey, the messages you deliver, and they expect to receive content from you regularly because they are attached to it. If you don’t feed your accounts with content that will interest your target audience, nothing will happen, people will not come back to it, or even unsubscribe.
- Stay authentic so that your personal branding reflects your true personality, style, your image. Above all, don’t try to play a role. Your articles, your videos, your posts should reflect what makes you unique to become a person to follow.
- Be constant and moderate in your attitudes and speeches on social networks, to show a constant image in all circumstances. Do not overreact when provoked, do not participate in controversies. Whenever you speak, ask yourself how it will positively influence your personal branding and improve your credibility and visibility to achieve your professional business or employment goals.
- Do not confuse putting yourself forward with being egocentric, self-centered. Learn to capitalize on your expertise, your talents, to serve others, inspire them and ultimately help them progress.
- Make the most of your image so that your clients or potential recruiters, depending on the desired objective, “buy” you, even before buying your services. You will thus make a difference with your competitors. As soon as your audience likes your personality, your image, even if you are dearer, it is with you alone that they will want to work.
Today with the Internet, it has never been easier to create your own brand and develop your image through social media. And if you want to multiply professional opportunities (business or employment), be aware of your own brand and work on it by following the 8 previous tips.