You’ve know super brands like Coca Cola and McDonald’s—the minute you hear their name you can picture their logo, their product, their motto and what they stand for. This is instilled in to us from years of advertising, promotion and brand building. What if we could control our own personal brand in the same way? With the increasing popularity of social media sites, it’s now possible for you to control your own personal brand and how others perceive you.

So how do you build your own personal brand?

1. Create Your Brand Motto

Your brand motto is what you stand for. It’s the message you will constantly communicate to your audience. Your tone of voice and your values should be communicated by how and what you post online.

Your motto must sum up in one sentence who you are, what you do and what you stand for. You don’t need to repeat this constantly over your chosen social media forums, but it should be in the back of your mind when you write a post or compose an article.

2. Know Your Audience

Depending on your industry and your audience, your platform for creating your online brand will differ. For example, if you work in finance, LinkedIn might be the platform for you, while if you work within a creative industry you may prefer Tumblr. Choose wisely and don’t overdo it—it can be difficult to manage too many profiles to a high standard. If you do have personal social media accounts then ensure that they are kept this way within the privacy settings.

3. Keep Up-to-Date

It is important that you manage your online image and reputation. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression and this is how most customers (and lenders and potential business partners) are going to judge you. Keep your profile updated with your latest achievements, job role and studies.

4. Showcase What You Can Do

Having various social media sites with your latest achievements, your past positions and examples of your best work all detailed neatly for your prospective business partners and customers to see online is like screaming from the rooftops how amazing you are without actually having to scream from the rooftops. We’re in the 21st century; pretty soon the standard, stagnant CV will be a thing of the past and the online, interactive CV will be what every employer is looking for.

5. Build Relationships

Having an online profile can help you build up relationships with your prospective partners. Your online brand is about selling what you’re about. Let them see what you’re like as a person as well as your academic and professional achievements. Remember, though, that your online brand is a professional persona, so make sure you don’t blur the lines with your personal life.

6. Added Value

Building up your brand adds value to you. This is your chance to communicate your ‘unique selling point’ to the world and set yourself apart from the rest. If you want to stand out from the crowd you need to make it clear why you’re better than the rest and demonstrate this via your online branding.

7. Promotion

Your online brand is there to raise your profile and make you visible to the people you want to reach. It’s an excellent tool for networking, so even if you’re not looking for work it’s a good chance to build up a foundation of influential contacts for future reference, guidance or partnerships. Make sure you’re easy to find on social sites and include your business contact details, such as an email address or mobile phone number.

Your online brand is a showcase of you and your unique selling points. Take this opportunity to set yourself apart from the rest (but remember to remain professional at all times)!

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