Posted by Paladin on March 26, 2020
Creative professionals are well-versed in the art and science of branding. When it comes to developing a personal brand, though, things can get a little sticky. Having a strong sense of who you are and what you represent — not to mention how to convey these important traits to potential employers — can be a struggle, even for career marketers.
At the same time, having an impressive personal brand is absolutely critical. One European research study found that personal branding is “one of the essential human activities for maintaining sustainable work and employment.” One of its main objective is to make you appear “valuable, reliable, or desirable,” but as the study’s authors point out, a personal brand also needs “maintenance, persistent reassessment, and monitoring.”
With all of this in mind, follow these three strategies for enhancing your professional image by revamping your personal brand.
Refine Your Website
Whether you have a traditional website or prefer to showcase your work and experience through a digital portfolio, this is the place to start when it comes to shaping your brand.
With a site, you have complete creative freedom to conceptualize and design the experience — which in turn gives potential employers a sneak peek at your personality. Take a look at the sites belonging to marketing expert Seth Godin, designer and illustrator Ellen Skye Riley, and artist Shantell Martin. You’ll find that in addition to promoting their creators’ achievements, these pages convey a distinct personal style that’s impossible for visitors to forget.
There’s an added perk to having a website: it will improve your visibility online. When employers search for your name and a polished website pops up on their screen, they’ll be more likely to remember you. A good site is your chance to stand out from the crowd after hiring managers have reviewed countless resumes that conform to the same old format.
Grow Your Social Media Presence
For many people, knowing what to post on social media is the hardest part about crafting a personal brand. Should you stick to sharing pictures of your work, or invite your followers into your personal life? Share funny memes, or be all business all the time?
According to entrepreneur, marketing expert, and author Neil Patel — who has a very strong personal brand himself — social media branding starts with consistency. Patel says he carries “the same professional look across every social channel” he’s on, from the headshot he uses to his brand voice, imagery, colors, value, and overall look.
Next, it’s time to determine what to post. In addition to news and updates about your work, including videos and images, Patel suggests sharing one photo daily from your personal life to “take your audience behind the scenes.”
As for the role that humor plays in your social feed, read the room — which in this case might include current and prospective clients — and go with your gut. Just don’t share anything that you wouldn’t want people to associate with your personality or work.
Create a Blog
It may seem as though the world has abandoned blogs in favor of social media content, but these platforms can still be of immense value to creative professionals. Content strategist and blogging expert Konrad Sanders insists that personal blogs are still relevant — as long as they’re used to share unique, high-quality content.
Think about what makes your profession so interesting, and which aspects of your work people would like to hear about. Consider what employers may want to know about your approach, techniques, and past experience. Finally, write in a way that feels natural and blends seamlessly with your presence on other marketing channels.
Aside from reflecting your personal brand, employing these strategies will help you keep readers engaged and eager to come back for more. Sanders also recommends linking to external resources like relevant studies, which can boost your exposure by leading to additional social media shares.
For marketing professionals of all kinds, revamping your personal brand is an opportunity to ensure you’re being viewed in the best possible light. Consider how you’d like to present yourself to potential employers and the world at large, and tweak your digital image to match. You’re sure to find the effort will pay off.