When you think about Apple, what words come to mind? Groundbreaking, sleek, intuitive?

What about Disney? Family-friendly, big budget, widely popular?

Companies build up their brand to stand out from the crowd and add value to their products. And now more than ever, people are using branding on their own persona, whether it’s to increase their appeal to prospective employers or clients.

If you successfully build a brand, people will begin to associate you with a particular set of hard and soft skills. For example, you may come to mind when someone needs customized electrical wiring, or say, a team player capable of wearing many hats.

Thankfully, computers, the Internet and social media make it really easy for anyone to establish and develop their personal brand.

Figure out what you are trying to accomplish

Don’t build a personal brand just to do it. Identify the goals you want to accomplish and determine how building a brand can help you get to where you want to be. Figuring out your motivations will lay out a roadmap for building your personal brand.

Build on who you already are

The worst thing you can do when building your personal brand, is to present such an ideal version of yourself – it isn’t who you really are.

Your personal brand should be a reflection of who you are. Determine what skills or experience makes you unique in a positive way. Even a lack of experience can be attractive. For instance, someone with little experience may be eager to work for less pay.

Connect with like-minded people

Before you forge ahead with personal branding, inform your efforts by connecting with like-minded professionals. Following these folks on social media and meeting with them face-to-face will give you a sense of the personal brands your peers have established for themselves. Then, observe the professionals in your network to see what works and what doesn’t.

Shape your digital footprint

Like it or not, the Internet and social media are the most common way people are going to find you in 2016. You need to take a proactive approach in how you are seen online.

You should at least have a LinkedIn profile, and all your social media profiles should be completed. The information you use to fill out your profiles should be tailored to present yourself in a favorable light and guided by the brand you are trying to build.

Grow your brand through participation

Once you set up your social profiles, it’s important that you use them to actively participate in your industry through social media. Add to discussions while staying professional. Make relationships with your peers stronger. Participation will create a feedback loop that will continually grow and evolve your brand.

If you are looking to use personal branding in pursuit of job opportunities, the experienced staff at Cornerstone can help you fine tune your efforts. Feel free to give us a call and we can help you review the current status of your brand.

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