After you have determined what you want to be known for and have claimed expertise in that area you have to get the word out. In step two of this how to guide on personal branding you will start to build your Personal Branding Tool Chest. The tool chest will have all of the mechanisms that you will use to promote what you are all about.
One of the most important things to remember as you assemble your Personal Branding Tool Chest is to have consistency between the various items in the tool chest. This would include a standard font, color scheme and images.
Business Card: Regardless of where you are in your career you should have a business card. They are simple to create and relatively inexpensive. The card should have your personal brand statement, name, email, phone number and website. It is also recommended that you include a photo or logo.
Resume/Cover Letter: Your resume and cover letter should be updated regularly. Both of these documents should include the same contact information as you used on your business card. I recommend having two cover letters, one that is general and one that is specific. When you are applying for a job you will want to tailor the cover letter to the specific position you are applying for. Include your resume on your personal website.
Blog/Website: It is highly recommended that you have a branded domain. Register yourname.com for your website and email firstname.lastname@example.org. As mentioned in step one, try to get a name that you can use across all online platforms. There definitely needs to be a blog component to your site but you can start off with a static page depending on time and comfort level. Adding the blog to your site will help showcase your opinions and knowledge on a particular subject. The blog entries will provide your site with great content that you can easily promote. Blogging goes a long way in establishing your thought leadership capabilities. The hardest part to this step is the initial setup, but once done adding blog posts and making changes are very simple.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is arguably the most popular business social network. It acts as your resume, cover letter, reference list and in some ways a blog. You can use LinkedIn to promote your personal website, other social media accounts, experience and thoughts. It is also a tool for digital networking. Make sure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and matches the resume on your site and in print. Maximize your profile with the strategic use of keywords to help you get found faster. Join and participate in groups relevant to your expertise.
Dress for the job you want not the job you have, or in this case, dress for the impression you want to leave. Pictures are a must and every profile you setup will have a spot for one. Make sure the image is high-quality and one that you would want a potential hiring manager to see. When you are at an “in-real-life” networking event make sure you are presenting your best possible image. Every day when you leave the house think clean, polished and presentable. You should do this even when your present employer has a casual dress code.
These tools are easy and straightforward to establish. Adding these tools to your Personal Brand Tool Chest will help you establish a firm foundation in the area you want to be known for. Remember that there needs to be consistency between all of these tools and you need to update them frequently. Use the comments section below or contact me if you want help or feedback along the way.
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