Ask the Expert: How do I build a successful personal brand?In the world of work, knowing how to communicate and having a clear understanding of the perception that others have of us has become fundamental.
We all have our own brand. A clear and recognizable trademark, our style, our reputation that we build and communicate to others. This is what is commonly referred to as personal branding today.
In the world of work, knowing how to communicate and having a clear understanding of the perception that others have of us has become fundamental. Karen Kang, author of Branding Pays argues that globalization and social media have made the world smaller, more connected and more competitive and that if your personal brand hasn’t evolved with the times, it’s time to rebrand.
That’s why we asked Patrizia Turri, VP Human Resources at Jobrapido, and Filippo Meraldi, VP Digital Marketing at Jobrapido, for some useful tips for building a successful personal branding – and the most common mistakes to avoid.
1. What are some best practices for building your personal brand?
P. First, decide what you want to be recognized for and define who your audience is. Be consistent in your tone of voice, communication tools and the content you produce. Last but not least, be authentic. Walk the talk. Know what you are talking about and communicate without putting on airs.
F. Being focused helps you position yourself as an expert in a sector and helps you build your personal brand thanks to the most important quality: credibility. Always be true to yourself. Look for sources to back up your statements. Get your hands dirty and show that you know what you are talking about with specific, operational and technical examples. Maintain a proactive and constructive communication line.
2. What are the pitfalls to avoid?
P. The most common mistake is wanting to please everyone and therefore having an indistinct target and showing oneself without a distinctive personality. It’s also not a great idea to imitate others. By not being true to yourself, you lose sight of what distinguishes you from the crowd and risk losing your unique added value to your work. Another pitfall is trying to walk before you crawl. Don’t pretend to be an expert in an area where you do not have skills. Only people with real talent can build effective and successful personal branding.
F. Being a know it all. You will be untrustworthy, and you will be easily criticized. Never look for answers that are too high. It’s better break down problems into small parts and find solutions step by step. Being able to put all the small solutions in the system will be a natural process. Finally: check all available means. When you change the photo of your LinkedIn profile, check that the other profiles are consistent. If you cannot maintain the same behavior on all public social media it’s better to choose only one.
3. Will the future of personal branding be 100% digital?
P. Digital is just a medium. The purpose of a personal branding strategy is people and can be reached in different ways, even offline.
F. A coherent personal brand does not differentiate the digital image from the non-digital one. It is essential to be yourself and to publish a coherent image. Being a dragon behind a keyboard and lamb in person is an example of an inconsistency in personal branding that doesn’t work and doesn’t reflect well on a person.
4. Starting from scratch, what is the first concrete action to do to “give life” to your brand?
P. Decide what you want to communicate and to whom. Have a clear and strategic purpose.
F. Build a small editorial plan and follow it in an almost militant way. Focus on your area of expertise, spend some time each week on strategy and some time on operations.
5. How can I monitor my personal brand and how can I fix any mistakes?
P. Google and social networks are the main tools for monitoring. Take a look at influencers’ strategies to identify best practices. How to make up for any personal brand blunders? It’s possible, but the internet doesn’t forget and there’s always a risk that comments or statements made online can come back to bite you. It’s always better to think hard before you click send.
F. Tracking your profile on Google helps you understand what information about you is available. Whenever you take an uncomfortable position on social media, take the time to read and reread what you are writing to make sure that the content cannot be subject to interpretation. Once fed into the net, it will be virtually impossible to take it back.