Because you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already familiar with the importance of a personal brand. Someone who may not be as well-versed in the subject, however, is your friends.
Here are five personal branding secrets to share with your friends:
1. Everything you do is part of your brand.
Your personal brand exists, whether you do anything about it or not. It is composed of everything you do and say. By accepting its existence, you can then decide to build it up to represent your capabilities in the professional world. Throughout your career, you need to be aware of how people see you. What you post on social media, how you behave both in and outside of work, all of these things matter. Consider how these things can help or hurt your brand. Behave professionally and you will be remembered as a professional.
2. There are many branding platforms online.
Your personal brand is shaped online by the social networking platforms you use. Think about your personal website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or wherever else you visit regularly. Make a list of the ones you think are most beneficial to you, and share these with your friends. If you are on similar career paths, these might be perfect options for your friends, as well. If you are in very different fields, think about how they can use these platforms to benefit them.
3. Consistency strengthens your brand.
If there are two key concepts one must know about personal brands, it is to be professional and be consistent. Be consistent in how you define yourself, the profile photos you publish, and the way you write your name. Carry the same consistency both on and offline. Help your friends be constant professionals. Consistency makes the people in your network (including potential employers) remember you.
4. There are many ways to network successfully.
To someone who is unfamiliar with the concept of networking, it can seem overwhelming. Help out your friend by telling them about the most successful networking experiences you’ve had. Did you connect with someone on LinkedIn and set up an interview? Did you attend a networking event and meet someone who hooked you up with one of their colleagues? Whatever it was, hearing real success stories can help others down the right path when they start networking for themselves.
5. Monitor your brand.
Once you decide the components of your brand, you are never truly finished cultivating it. You need to update it regularly and monitor how you are perceived. There are lots of sites, like Google Alerts, to help you do this. How do you monitor your personal brand? Help your friends set up ways to monitor their brand like you.
You want your friends to have successful careers, just like you, so helping them out with something like their personal brands is an easy way to do it. Plus, since you are closely associated with your friends, helping them with their brands can only benefit your own.
What other personal branding secrets would you share with your friends?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.