Identify What Your Brand Is
One of the simplest tips to build a professional identity is this: determine what makes you unique. A brand is an image, perception, or impression, and in order to build your brand, you have to know what your identity is. A good place to start is by asking yourself this: when people think about you, what do you want to come to mind first?
Examples include qualities like trustworthiness or expertise about a particular topic. The key to building your brand is realize your strength, focus on it, and build it up to be a major element of your personal brand.
Convey to Others What You're Capable Of
Your brand isn't just a single trait, but rather a cultivation of actions, behaviors, skills, and knowledge that you want to be associated with. Together these things will build your brand, and an integral part of the equation is demonstrating those qualities to others. Approach every opportunity as an opportunity to demonstrate your skills, show others what sets you apart, and what your major strengths are.
Cultivate Your Brand in Everything You Do
The decisions you make, the way you talk, what you do online, and even the way you walk is all a part of your personal brand, so it’s important to evaluate all of your choices to see if they fit with that identity.
For instance, if you're trying to build a brand that’s centered on how serious you are about diversity and multiculturalism, then sharing culturally insensitive jokes on your Facebook page is a really bad idea (mind you, it probably is anyway, regardless of your brand!) When you want to know how to shape perceptions of yourself, you have to remember that every move you make in the public eye will influence how people see you.
Get Yourself Out There
You can't build a brand if there's nobody around to convey it to, so the more people you can introduce yourself to the better. This means getting involved not just in projects at work, but also in the community with causes that matter to you, online with communities that share your interests, and in the greater professional community with people who share similar values. Just like word of mouth advertising can be a huge boon for a business, so too can your network help you with how to grow your career.
A personal brand is just as important to a woman professional as it is to a multinational corporation, because your brand tells other people immediately what's special about you, and why they should get you on their team. Building your brand and identity takes time, patience, and perseverance, but as long as you define your brand early on, use every opportunity you can to convey it, and take steps to increase your sphere of influence, then you will succeed in cultivating your own personal brand.
Social media is one of the tools you can use to build your brand. Let's give you some tips to get started!