For marketers
who love technology

This is how to build a personal brand

In an era where 100th of skilled candidates apply to any job, having a well positioned personal brand is more important than ever. You have to think of yourself as a product and find your customers (i.e., investors for your company, customers for your company, or employers for yourself).

But, how to build an efficient personal branding? It's much easier than you may think! In just a few seconds, I'll share with you a method to roll your personal brand out successfully with minimal efforts.

Set your personal branding goal (Why? What for?)

You must start with a clear goal in mind. What is your purpose in building a personal brand?

This goal must be accurate:
  • What do you want to get?
  • When?
  • Where?
A typical goal is for someone to develop her career. Her goal could be for instance: 
  • I want to start a new job in Finance at Morgan Stanley by end of year in New York. 
  • I need to be perceived as a reference on Quantitative Easing by September in New York area.

Understand the market for your personal brand (Who?)

From which industries and companies, can you get what you want? You have to build a segmentation of these industries as they may want different things from you.
  • What are the industries you are interested in?
  • Which companies specifically?
  • What are they looking for? If your targets are publicly traded companies, you should definitely read their latest annual report / sec-10 fillings.
  • What skills can you provide that they are looking for?
Our example above already nailed all these aspects. Let's go for Morgan Stanley!
The inbound marketing methodology (credit: Hubspot) - Understand your audience segmentation to build a solid "sales" funnel for your personal brand.

Write your story! (The "What?" of your brand)

Now you must find out which facts show that you have what your targets want. And you need a good story! Branding is all about story telling. Do not worry if you do not know how to write a compelling story, I will tell you how in just a few seconds!

Start by thinking about the elements for your story:
  • Which past successes demonstrate that you have the specific skills your targets are interested in?
  • What anecdote make these past successes interesting to hear about? Usually, people find interesting what they did not expect and what they want to tell about to other people: "did your hear about this guy? He is amazing: he did ....".
This sounds very theoretical, but I will give you a wonderful tip to create a great story in just 30 seconds. You will see that all you need is to write 2 short sentences! 
  1. Write 1 sentence about what you are passionate about (purpose). 
    • If you have no inspiration, you can just fill in the words in brackets in the example below.
    • I work in [the domain you want to work in or work in] because ever since I was a kid doing [add an anecdote about you as a kid], I was fascinated by [your passion].  
  2. Write 1 sentence about what was what you have delivered in this domain (impact). This sentence should include numbers.
Here is what it gives for me on LinkedIn:

Identify best branding channels (How?)

Now that you have a good story to tell, how will you communicate this great story to your targets?

There are plenty of ways:  informal meetings,  official meetings, a blog, Twitter, Facebook, press coverage... In the paragraph below, I will tell you which ones are the best for you!

Always mix physical and digital channels. For instance, start a discussion on LinkedIn with your network to get meetings with people working in your target company.

Here is a list of the question you should ask yourself:
  • Which channels are fastest to leverage for you?
    • If you do not know, start with LinkedIn. 
    • If you are motivated, start a blog too. 
  • How many people can you reach?
    • LinkedIn is the best way to reach many relevant people. If you are not familiar with this tool, start creating your profile today!
  • Are these the right people? 
    • Remember to fish where the fishes are. If you share your brands with a lot of indians by target a job in USA, you have an issue.
  • What's the single thing you want them to remember about you?
    • If you do not know, you have skipped a step in this article! 
    • Go back to the beginning of this post to write a brilliant story conveying your personal brand.

Define your segmentation and earned reputation

If you are already a personal branding ninja, you will want to define your target audience segmentation. If not, just skip this paragraph and jump to the next one!

For instance, our Morgan Stanley fictitious candidate may have different messages to convey to a former colleague now working within Morgan Stanley than to the HR team.
  • How to ensure that different target segments will remember different (relevant) messages about you? 
Your personal brand is not just about what you say about yourself.  It's also about what others have to say about you! ,
  • Google your name to check the consistency of the results with your branding messages. 
  • Ask relevant friends, colleagues, customers to write reference content about you based on their experience with your work (don't lie or fake it, stick to the truth and only the truth), to reinforce your brand.

Execute your personal branding strategy 

At this stage, you have a good personal branding strategy. You should just implement this strategy to get the visibility you deserve. Sounds like a lot of work? Don't worry: I just a few seconds I will tell you how to do it smartly and spend minimal time on brand maintenance!

The secret is to never start from scratch!
  • What material can you use to bootstrap your communication strategy? 
    • You probably have plenty of past projects or materials that you can reuse. Just shape them in a way that supports your personal brand. 
  • What third party material can you leverage in your personal branding strategy: 
    • something as easy as re-tweeting interesting things on Twitter will already make you visible and interesting to some of your targets. 
    • You can also summarize articles written by others (with reference of course!) on your own blog.
  • Who can help you? 
    • Use services such as Fiverr to ensure your material is proofread before going out. You do not want to have any typo or grammar mistakes in material associated with your personal brand!

Congrats for reading this post to its end! Would you consider sharing it on social networks? That will help me a lot! A big thank you!

Have fun and feel free to reach out to me if you want more tips!


About Gilles


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