Your presence is your original anchor and brand, the consistent and unmistakable impact you leave. Establishing your personal brand is more important now than when the term was coined by Tom Peters in his 1997 article called “The Brand Called You”. The rise of social media has made personal branding more personal and more easily achieved.
Personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Complaints and opinions are readily available online with simple searches so transparency and authenticity are critical as you start building your brand. Building personal brand equity uses the same strategies that businesses and celebrities would use. Social media has really leveled the playing field and enabled common people to reach incredible heights, costing nothing more than your time.
The greatest success in life is to be compensated for your passion. When you love what you are doing you will never work another day. This stage requires deep thought and research to see what is out there and to pique your interest.
Once you have landed on a particular specialty, set goals, write down your mission, vision and values and your personal brand statement. Then create a development plan to keep you current on the topic and where you will have networking opportunities to interact with other experts. In order to know if you are on the right path answer this simple equation SI=PP (self-impression=people’s perception).
It is far easier to have a break-through in an area that isn’t saturated. That isn’t always possible and don’t become dissuaded from pursing an area that is bursting at the seams with people already established in that field of expertise. Either way, you want to establish yourself as a thought leader on that topic and you want to own a domain. The domain can be as simple as your name or a unique word that best describes your expertise. For example I have jasoncortel.com and leadershipxl.com. My social footprint follows those domains. You will have to spend some time making sure the domain you choose is available across all of the social media networks you feel are relevant to you as well as the website address. They should be identical when possible but in some cases they may need to vary and that is OK just try to keep the variance to a minimum.
While not impossible, it can be difficult to change up your online identity. Make sure you spend enough time and give enough thought to ensure you’ve chosen the right handles for your brand.
The best part about the discovery phase is that your current job doesn’t have to align with what you determine your personal brand to be. You can establish yourself as a thought leader in a particular field though research, blogging your thoughts and opinions on the subject, networking with others in that area and obtaining certificates from reputable schools or programs. Doing these things can open opportunities for you over time.
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