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Career Advice

5 Steps to Build Your Personal Brand

Posted by Heather Huhman

Last Updated July 26, 2016

Companies are no longer the only ones that need to develop their brand. Today's employees need to think about their own personal brand and how they will market themselves throughout their career. A strong and authentic personal brand will help you with new job opportunities, networking and developing relationships, and recognition within your company and industry, just to name a few.

Follow this step-by-step guide to develop your own personal brand:

1. Define who you are.

Start by identifying what makes you unique. Your experience, skills, and passions are all part of your personal brand. These qualities are your unique selling points and will come into play whenever people search for you online.

There are tons of other people out there who are also trying to make it in your field, but what will make you stand out is the combination of your skills and passions. For example, a marketer who is great at designing and loves food will stand out in a completely different way than a marketer who is a strong writer and loves to travel. Find your niche.

2. Determine how you’re perceived.

Now that you’ve figured out what you want to be known for, you need to figure out how you’re currently perceived. This includes how you are seen by your friends, other professionals, and the online community in general.

What happens when you Google yourself? This will help you determine your online perception. Make sure to turn off the “private results” if you’re using Chrome. Take note of the links that show up first and the descriptions that go with them. Do they capture the unique selling points you identified?

Keep an eye on your search results by setting up Google Alerts for your name and usernames. This will help you to keep track of your reputation online.

3. Set goals.

After you’ve determined who you are and what the world thinks of you, it’s time to decide if you need to change your existing brand, or reinforce what’s already out there. Does your online brand reflect your career goals?

The internet is a difficult place to stand out. Make it your mission to have your online brand reflect the niche you identified earlier. Once your brand aligns with your goals, you can use it to land a career in an industry that aligns with your passions.

4. Create and share content.

A personal brand is made up of more than just a few social media profiles. While it’s important to at least cover the basics (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), creating and sharing content is the best way to show that your brand is authentic. A strong brand will contain a combination of original and curated content.

There are many forms of content you can create, so there is plenty of opportunity to find types that speak to you. You can write a blog with personal stories, lists, or commentary. You can create videos or graphics. You can podcast. The possibilities of content creation are endless. Think about the goals you established and determine what forms of content are relevant and what you’re best at.

In addition to creating your own content, you should also share from industry influencers and people you admire. Sharing curated content helps you establish relationships with people who have similar interests and career paths. Become part of a conversation.

5. Find networks.

When you have good content to share and goals in mind, you can start to form a network based on your personal brand. Even if you hate networking, you can do most of it online behind the comfort of your own laptop.

Aside from meetups and networking events, you can find industry influencers on social media and form relationships with them when you can. Comment on the content they create, and sharing things that benefit them. Continue networking by getting involved in communities and forums that interest you.

If your brand is consistent across all of your social profiles, the people you meet online will begin to recognize you for your niche.

Are you thinking about finding a new job? Once you follow this step-by-step guide to develop your personal brand, search for jobs on Glassdoor.


What are some other important factors for personal branding? Share your thoughts in the comments below