Account Manager / Special Projects
The constant growth of Facebook, Twitter and blogging has created a new stage for people to build their personal brands, create something interesting and stand out from the crowd. This social world focuses in on people who are genuine, confident and unique and rewards people who are passionate about what they say and do.
Here is my advice for tapping your passion to build a strong personal brand, both online and offline:
Discover your Brand
A brand starts with understanding the subject. Sit down, lay out a blank piece of paper and create a web diagram. Write your name in a circle and branch off each of the things that defines who you are. Use the keywords you come up with to write a bio that will introduce you to the world. It doesn’t have to be long, but it will serve as “you in a nutshell” and give people a glimpse into your persona.
Build on your Personal Interests
What you do in your spare time, including hobbies, interests, networking, events and causes you associate with are other important facets of your brand. This means actively associating yourself and your identity (both online and offline) with your interests and sharing insight and perspectives on the things that you find interesting.
Focus on your Work Life
A major contributor to your personal brand is what you spend at least a third of your life doing: working! If you do what you love, and love what you do, then it furthers your brand that much more. By immersing yourself into something that you truly enjoy doing, you eat, breathe and sleep it. By doing so, you demonstrate your passion for it without even trying.
Choose your Mediums
There are a number of obvious mediums to promote your brand: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, even YouTube. Start tweeting regularly about your favourite subjects, engage people by publishing regularly on a blog, invest in and hone your skills or even start a video blog.
Create a Personal Web Page
All of this hinges on making it easy for people to find you. One site I really like is called About.me; you can build a personal profile page with a custom photo background that points users to your presence around the web. Besides having a brief bio, it even gives you the ability to create free personal business cards with a QR (quick response) code to scan with their smartphone to be taken instantly to your About.me profile.
Is this for you?
You might be thinking that a lot of this doesn’t apply to you because you’re not looking for a job right now, or because you’re a private person and don’t really want your life to be on display for all to see. Well, that’s okay. How much you choose to share is up to you. If you’re worried about failing on the web, the safe bet is to keep it general, focus on your passions and interests and keep it positive.
When making a splash in our web-based world, the key still lies surprisingly in something that cannot be plugged in, Wikipedia’d or +1’d… it all comes down to passion and the way you share it.
Good luck out there!