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Building a Better YOU: Personal Branding

Building a Better YOU: Personal Branding

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By Julianne Brown
Contributor and Career Coach, APUS

Having a great personal brand is very important in today’s professional society. You are putting yourself at a disadvantage if you are unaware of your personal brand or if it still needs a lot of work. Whether you are trying to grow your business or take your career to the next level, a personal brand is a must.

The great thing about a personal brand is that everyone already has one, whether they know it or not. It is all about being the authentic you and highlighting your unique skills and abilities that differentiate you from other applicants. Below are some essential keys to building a great personal brand.

Promote Your Brand Online and in Person

Promoting your personal brand online or in person alone will not have nearly the effect that promoting them both at the same time will. Being active on LinkedIn and even Twitter can get your brand out there and help build your network of quality professional individuals. Introducing yourself at professional events can get your face out there and also help build your professional network.

Be the Authentic YOU

Being you is the best advice anyone can give you. Trying to be someone else’s brand will ultimately end in failure. Create your personal brand around the authentic “you” that is already present. What words would you use to describe yourself? What type of lasting impression do you want to leave? What is your professional purpose? What are your passions or values? Use these questions to help sculpt your personal brand.

Behavior Speaks Louder than Words

Being able to have professional and quality conversations is one thing, but demonstrating professional behavior is also very important for your brand image. Being on time to meetings, being respectful and kind to others, and having a tasteful personal and professional social media presence are all examples of behaviors that matter. What you actually do will be noticed, so ensure you are always acting respectable, even when not in a professional setting.

Practice Great Networking

Having great networking skills will only improve your personal brand. Being proactive and meeting new people will get you known. This is a great way to market yourself and your brand. Also, take new opportunities as they come and especially if they relate to your brand and interests. Opportunities are a great learning experience, as well as a great way to network with industry professionals.

Everyone has a personal brand, but expanding and developing it is crucial to build upon your career-related goals. Thinking about how you are perceived, what your social media presence reflects, who the authentic YOU is, and the impression you want to leave can help you build your brand.

[Related article: How Social Media Can Reinforce Your Personal Brand and Attract Employers]

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