Four Ways To Build A Strong Personal Brand For Your Career

YEC COUNCIL POST Expertise from Forbes Councils members, operated under license. By Thomas Griffin, Co-Founder and President of OptinMonster. Entrepreneur, investor and software expert. Helping you be a better leader in your organization. Building a strong personal brand helps you establish who you are and what you stand for. Most businesses, whether big or small, believe in branding. The reason is simple. It makes you memorable and tells your users what to expect from you. But most importantly, it sets you apart from your competitors and gives your audience a reason to connect with you. But this doesn’t mean that you need branding only if you have entrepreneurial aspirations. Branding can be helpful for your career and can help you reach your goals and achieve success.  With a strong personal brand, it becomes easier to build trust with prospective clients and employers. This can eventually help you land your dream job or work with clients you’ve always wanted. So let’s look at four ways to build a strong personal brand for your career. 1. Determine what you want to be known for. Your personal brand doesn’t simply stand for who you are today. It’s also a road map of where you want to head in the future. So in order to build a strong personal brand, you have to understand your existing competencies and expertise and identify your strengths and weaknesses related to the industry you want to explore in the future.  This will help you discover the traits and skills that you were unaware of so far. It will also let you identify the areas that need improvement in order to achieve success. Besides, by knowing where you want to be in the next five to 10 years, you can prepare yourself by working on the skills you need for it. 2. Grow your online presence. A strong online presence is extremely important in today’s digital world. By being active online, you give your audience a way to find out more about you and what you have to offer. An active social profile can boost your visibility, which in turn can increase your brand recognition. This is extremely important for building trust and credibility among your audience. When people see you more often, they become more familiar with you and start identifying you more easily. A strong online presence is a great way to build authority in the online world. You can do that by sharing your achievements, awards or even the little moments that add meaning to your life. By doing that, you can inspire and encourage your audience to follow your path. It can also help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. 3. Pay attention to networking. Another important way to build your brand is to network beyond your immediate circle. You can do that by attending events that can help you find influencers or mentors to connect with. The best thing about networking is that it offers you a way to market yourself and your capabilities. Unlike traditional forms of marketing, in networking, you can have access to a room full of people to whom you can talk face to face. If used well, this opportunity can help you find your next potential employer or client. And even if you don’t find a client or an employer, these networking events can offer highly educational experiences that can help you learn new skills or discover something new that can take your career to the next level. 4. Keep an elevator pitch ready. Many people do everything they can to build their brand. But in doing so, they often forget to create an elevator pitch for themselves. If you’re one of them, create one right now. Prepare a 40- to 50-second speech to describe your story. Use it when you introduce yourself to someone you meet for the first time. This can be in a networking event, an informal party or even a personal meeting. It helps you describe who you are, what you do and where you are heading in your career. Keep it short, and make it interesting. Personal branding is all about how you present yourself. So make sure you create a positive image for yourself and your work. This doesn’t mean you’ll unnecessarily glorify everything about yourself. What you should do instead is be yourself. This can be the most impactful way to connect with people, influence them and build your own brand in a powerful and unique manner. This article was first published in Forbes Entrepreneur.