Nowadays, the concept of “personal branding” is everywhere. Even if you don’t own a business or run a blog, you have a personal brand just by nature of being on the internet. If you’re willing to invest a little bit of time into your personal brand, you can probably improve your chances of employment and even potentially build a more commercial brand. Here are the simplest steps you can take to build that brand.
Determine Your Personal Branding Angle
First off, you should decide what you want your personal brand to be. This should definitely be largely dependent on your career intentions in the future. If you want to go into a journalistic career, build a brand based around current events. If you want to become an influencer, try and build your social media presence.
Remember that not all jobs will directly have to do with your personal brand, but many employers will look through your social media accounts and presences to understand you better. Even if you’re only planning to work at Starbucks, you want your personal brand to line up with what a Starbucks manager would want in an employee.
Consolidate All Your Social Media Presences
One of the biggest problems that people can make is having different internet presences with different handles. If you go by “JohnSmith” on Instagram, “JohnHSmith” on LinkedIn, and “smitty1995” as your email handle, you’re not going to bring people along with you into different social media areas.
Instead, choose a handle and stick with it. You want a handle that’s very unique — if you have a name like John Smith, you’ll likely find that “JohnSmith” is taken just about everywhere. Instead, you may decide that you’re going to be “JohnWithTheNews or “SmartSmith”. Check it on all your most important social media sites and make sure you have a good one before you start changing things.
Delete Anything You Don’t Need Anymore
Most people have said some things online in the past that they now regret. Even if it’s just a MySpace profile you ran when you were 17, that will still reflect poorly on you if someone discovers it now. You need to either delete them or make them undiscoverable.
Some people do maintain accounts that they only use for friends. If you don’t want it to be part of your personal brand, make sure it utilizes a handle that you don’t use anywhere else. You’ll also probably want to keep it private so that only people you approve can see it. Even if someone does happen upon your page, they won’t be able to see what you share with your friends.
Keep an Eye on Your Online Security
When you’re placing lots of emphasis on your personal brand, you’re going to need to keep a close eye on your online security. Even just a data breach or a few bad decisions could lead to a complete loss of your online identity, which can have disastrous results. That’s why you need to make sure you’re always paying close attention.
A great tool to use for this is a background check site like PeopleFinders. Although many people use these sites to discover more about other people, you can use them to discover more about yourself. Perform a background check on yourself and see what turns up. If the results surprise or shock you, then you might have an issue with your online or real-world security. Even if it surprises you, it’s better than suffering damage to your reputation.
Personal branding is a great concept that some people find so important that they actually have experts help them with their brand. If you’re not planning on building a company, you probably don’t need an expert to help you. It’s enough that you’re thoughtful with your online persona and that you keep your image steady across the internet. With these simple tips, you can build a personal brand that really reflects who you are.