The digital space has opened up a whole new world for recruitment, job-seekers and the self-employed. They want to stand out. For potential opportunities, to raise their profile through LinkedIn, Twitter and Xing or to just plain old find their voice.
Self-promotion has always been a necessity in different guises. But now with social media platforms galore, the opportunity to show who you are and what you are about is immense. It’s pretty simple too – you just need to remember one thing.
Everyone is a brand.
Sorry – I’m not saying everyone is a thing and not a person. But when it comes to standing out for what is unique about you – you’re a brand. Because brands are people too. They have a personality, something to offer and when they’re really great at telling you about it, you remember them. These days, they call it personal branding.
Define your personal brand.
Here comes the science part. Before you start telling anyone anything, be it on a CV, Linked In, Xing, your business website or elsewhere, you need to be clear about what you are saying. Think about:
Who am I? What have I done professionally to get where I am now?
What is important to me?
What have I achieved?
Most importantly – What am I trying to achieve right now? Therefore – who is my audience?
Critically – What would they want or need to hear about me? How would it help them in their jobs or businesses, therefore help me?
Communicate your personal brand.
Next step. How does who you are define how you communicate? Completely, utterly, totally. If you’re a great communicator, then you wouldn’t waffle on in a long paragraph to tell others about it.
Go back to your brand. Who are you? Why are you a great communicator? So, it’s because people listen to what you have to say. You’re an engaging presenter, or visionary leader who brings people into the story, creates momentum and evokes response.
How do you know that? They told you. They ask you to go over every high value pitch the business puts out. They ask you to present it. Your team comes into work every morning with their eyes alight with anticipation of what’s next.
Whatever it is, there’s always an easy way to say it. Without saying too much. You just need to define how ‘you’ as a ‘brand’ communicate. That’s your brand personality – like your real personality, except more focused and no need to share any weird habits or cringe-worthy lines about being ‘partial to a glass of champers or mountain hike on a sunny weekend’.
Ditch the stereotypes.
So, think about the three most important themes you want to tell people about you and your target audience. Think about where they play (your channels: Linked In, Xing, CV, Twitter etc). Then how you can communicate your core message in a straightforward way. Here are some ideas.
Results and outcomes
Opinions and thought-leadership
Blogging and content
We’re getting into the resource-hungry stuff here. Another day.
Your first draft is not your finished product. Less is more. If you’re writing something yourself; edit, edit and edit again. Then ask someone else to edit – preferably someone who understands your audience. Then edit again.
Last, but by no means least, leave it a week or two. Then read it. Like you don’t know yourself. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. And think – what would I think if I were them? People aren’t that different to each other – if you know your audience and yourself well enough, you will know how they think.
If your message is controversial, new or a little creative; stay true to it. You might tailor your words, but never tailor your true message.
And finally, live your personal brand.
This is the easy bit. Humans have a great radar for hot air and our patience towards it is wearing a little thin.
If you’re honest with yourself, clear about who you are and what is important to you; all you have to do is be yourself. We’d all like a good excuse to do that a bit more often.
It doesn’t take any energy
You don’t have to live up to anything
People will approach you
Being genuine pays in so many ways.
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Five Brand Communication works with businesses and initiatives that want to make a difference to find their brand voice, message and reach their audiences by building brands from the inside. Find out more about what we do.