Prince Associates: You got a bad reputation, that’s the word out on the town…

You got a bad reputation

That’s the word out on the town.

It gives a certain fascination

But it can only bring you down

– Thin Lizzy

43% of Employers find reasons not to hire a candidate after looking at their social media profiles!

That’s a scary fact right? WRONG! You can use this to your advantage, by building an amazing personal brand you can stand out from the rest and guarantee yourself that interview – or even better, get people approaching you about new and exciting opportunities.

Personal branding is about your reputation both online and offline. It’s about bringing who you are, what you do and how you do it to the world. It’s your walking talking virtual business card that is ever evolving – your unique promise of value.

Here at Prince Associates we have collated a list to help you get started:

1. Identify what makes up your ‘unique you’

Before you start creating anything, you need to fully understand what you are offering and why. You need to identify where you sit in the market, what makes you different and who your target audience is. Here are some questions to help you figure this all out:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Who do I want to see me? Who will see me?
  • What will my readers want to read/see? How can I give them value?
  • What sets you apart in the industry?
  • What do I stand for?
  • What is my vision? What is my desired future?
  • Whats my USP (Unique selling point)?

2. Create a killer personal statement

Think of some of the biggest brands in the world…Apple, Coca Cola and Nike. What do they all have in common? They all have statements that have a high impact and memorable….

To entice people to view your profiles and to then be remembered, you too need to create your own hard hitting personal statement. It doesn’t need to be an essay (we will go into that later, that’s your bio!), a simple 1-2 sentence long statement that communicates what you are best at, who your target audience is and how you do it differently (USP).

What your personal brand statement won’t be:

  • Your job title – this is a tool that is used to categorise someone. Your personal brand statement is your unique promise of value to the world.
  • Your personal mission statement (Career objectives, life purpose etc) – these are known as your own long term vision, it is not marketing yourself to a target audience.

Like Apple, Coca Cola and Nike rethink their statements and taglines every now and again. You should review your personal brand statement at least every year – as your career develops your personal brand will need to develop too.

3. Write a professional bio that will secure job opportunities

This is probably the most important part of your personal branding. Get it right and you will see a flurry of social media followers, an influx of page visits and most importantly invitations for new career opportunities and interviews. Get it wrong and you may leave your target audience confused this could lead you into falling into that 43%!

Your bio needs to be short and to the point, after all us humans no longer have a great attention span. It needs to articulate who you and what you do in a quick and easy way.

Here are a few tips to help you write your own bio:

  • Keep coming back to point 1 of this blog, remember who and why you are writing this!
  • Start with your name. Watch what people do at networking events, when they introduce themselves they will start by saying their name and then explain what they do and why it can help….This is the same thing!
  • Make sure you don’t become a robot, remember this is your PERSONAL branding. Add in some personality to the text, adding humour will usually do the trick!
  • Don’t forget to add contact details (this usually works best at the end of a bio). Make it easy for people to contact you.

4. Create your own website

Buy your domain name – you don’t want to leave your reputation in the hands of a stranger do you? You can keep the website simple – perhaps a one page online CV. Or even better, you can use this website as an online portfolio, a space where you can display your previous work, achievements and expertise.

Use as many media formats as possible; video, images, blogs etc.. keep your audience engaged and wanting more. Remember to use the same bio and personal brand statement on your website, you need to create a clear and consistent message to the world.

4. Make sure you can be found

Make sure that all your profiles and personal website are keyword rich, there is no point in having a great brand if no one can find you. You need to add keywords to your bio, skills and career experience (on LinkedIn), within your personal website you should try to maximise each page with keywords.

Another great tip to add keywords is to list your specialities. Not only will this be keyword rich but it will also tell a reader who has little time what you do very quickly.

Not sure what keywords to use? Here is a simple trick to help you figure out what words are most used / searched in your industry:

  • Complete an advanced job search on a popular job board thats relevant to your role/industry
  • Read the highest ranked job adverts and pick out words that seem to be trending. For example:‘digital marketing’, ‘cross-channel marketing’, ‘campaign management’ and ‘SEO’ may all be words that appear on job adverts when you search for Marketing Director
  • If you’re short on time, you can copy and paste 3 or 4 job descriptions into tag crowd – this will automatically visualise keywords used.

5. Let social proof do the work for you

Social proof – All of us look to others to help us decide how to act, to guide our behavior, to determine whether something is right or wrong. The more people doing it, the more correct it seems. Get as many recommendations/testimonials as possible, this can be from colleagues, clients, customers or even partnerships. This will lead others to believe that you are an industry leader and should be contacted for career opportunities.

6. Engage, Help, Repeat.

In order to build your brand and become an industry expert you need to consistently add value to your network and target audience. Forget about helping yourself and only following up leads, to build a truly great brand you need to help people solve work based problems, share industry related articles and create your own interesting ideas and blogs.

Content ideas:

  • Free or paid ebooks
  • Podcasts
  • Videos showing your thoughts or ideas
  • Infographics on industry
  • How to’s – become a mentor or a coach to share expertise

When starting out, it can be difficult to get noticed. Try guest blogging on popular, industry relevant websites and be sure to add links to your own website and profiles.

7. Get people taking action

Online marketing professionals and web designers will tell you that your business website needs ‘call to action’ buttons – this is where your website entices your customer to buy a product, subscribe or find out more about the business (now you’ve read this, you will now see them everywhere!) You also need to have ‘call to actions’ on your own website and online profiles – whether its a simple call to get people to contact you or to get them to buy an e-book you have written. Check out quicksprout.com for examples.

We hope that this has helped you get started on building your own personal branding and securing that next dream job. We’d love to hear from you to share how else we can help with your next career move and discuss what jobs we are currently working on.

About the Author – Prince Associates specialises in recruitment and talent management solutions within the Digital space, with a core focus on: E-commerce, Online Service Providers and Insight & Analysis. We’re here to help our clients gain a competitive advantage by partnering with them and contributing to the building of incredible work teams. We’re here to help talented Graduates take the right step in their careers. The Director, Chantelle is available to provide advice on recruitment related topics; including Personal Branding, Interview techniques and Live vacancies. chantelle.jones@princeassociates.co.uk

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