Your professional brand extends beyond the fancy title written on your business card. If you haven’t thought about the unique value proposition that your brand offers, you are slowly committing a dreadful process of career suicide that could leave you in the unemployment line. You don’t want to be kicked to the curb by your employer only to find out that you haven’t positioned yourself to be a success in the marketplace.
Everyone needs to start thinking of themselves as a brand; your responsibility is to share your most valued skills and experiences in a way that allows you to remain relevant and relatable. A strong brand establishes you as a natural thought leader, allowing you to attract opportunities that would otherwise remain in the dark.
Do you need help creating a powerful professional brand? Here are 3 tips to get you started:
1. Create a Magnetic LinkedIn Profile
No longer is LinkedIn just a digital resume; it’s your social real estate. It’s the way that you communicate your value to the world. If you are not promoting your professional assets on LinkedIn, you are doing yourself a huge disservice.
Think about it. Do you know how many people Google your name and use your LinkedIn profile to judge your professional value? If your profile doesn’t mesmerise your target audience within six seconds, you can forget about taking advantage of the opportunity that had your name on it.
You have the flexibility to craft a compelling profile that immediately advances your professional brand. Through your professional photo, customised headline, personable summary, and unique experiences, you help others determine if they want to invest in your brand while also providing bait for others to want to know more about you. The first thing you need to do is to complete your entire profile and achieve All-Star status. Professionals who have an All-Star rating are more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.
2. Publish Content
One of the best ways to upgrade your professional brand is to show off your expertise. Writing is a powerful way to communicate your knowledge and become a trusted source of information. You can be a walking database of information but if no one can access your resources on demand, you miss out on valuable opportunities to share your experience.
Your insights need to be shared with those who do not have the opportunity to meet you in person. If you are comfortable connecting with others through your written words, you should consider managing a blog. A blog is a useful resource for supporters who want to gain a snapshot of your work and insights. If you are an experienced industry professional who doesn’t have time to manage a blog, you can contact any trade or professional publication to share your experience with a specific audience.
Don’t limit your content to writing. People love to consume videos and your video content allows you to engage with your audience in a different way. This is why Youtube is the third most visited site on the Web, according to Alexa.
3. Take Advantage of Speaking Opportunities
Do you have valuable industry knowledge to share with others? Offer to deliver a presentation at an upcoming conference or event. Are you a member of industry organisations? Take on a leadership role that will require you to speak often. Are you skilled in an area of work that can benefit community organisations? Reach out to the volunteer service coordinator and pitch relevant topics. Speaking is an important aspect of building your professional brand that you shouldn’t ignore. One speaking appearance can lead to other speaking requests that can instantly elevate your professional brand.
When speaking at an event, there are many promotional opportunities you can take advantage of to build your brand awareness. For example, you can share your social media links during your presentation or give a business card to audience members before you deliver your presentation. You also have the opportunity to promote your involvement in the event by sharing it on your social media profiles and website. Don’t forget to take pictures with your audience members. A visual and written description of your event participation provides a great way to engage your supporters.
Make your speaking appearances count by asking for feedback and testimonials after your presentation. This can be used on your website, LinkedIn profile, or media kit. It’s great when you present a compelling story about the impact of your speaking appearances, but it speaks volumes about your work when third parties recommend you.