For the last two years, I keep hearing about the importance of developing a personal brand – both in my career and as a blogger. I’ve struggled to understand what a personal brand is and why it even matters. I sometimes feel like I live this double life as a blogger and at my full-time job and wonder how I can even define myself. In the last few weeks, I’ve been reading and attending workshops and really learned the meaning of what a personal brand is. Today, I’m here to share with you how to develop a personal brand to advance your career or blog.
So…what is a personal brand?
- A personal brand is the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others
- A personal brand is how people describe you when you’re not in the room
- Your personal brand is how you appear to the world
Think of your personal brand as a painting and everything you do (your job, brand collaborations, social media posts, volunteer hours, relationships, personal values) are the brush strokes. All the different components of who you are comprise the “big picture” of your brand.
Why does a personal brand matter?
A personal brand matters in both your career and in your blog is because it’s how other people understand your strengths and values. Your personal brand is equally what you do and who you are.
If you can’t display and communicate what you do and who you are (a.k.a your personal brand) problems can occur. As a blogger, if you are unable to communicate your brand, you may end up with random companies contacting you to collaborate because they can’t understand what your blog represents. In your career, not defining your personal brand could mean being rejected for interviews because people can’t clearly understand how your skills and values translate into a certain role.
Don’t take a passive stance and let others decide your best skills and your core beliefs. Control the conversation and perception by defining your personal brand and effectively communicating it.
How do I define my personal brand?
Hi my name is Bailey and I work in content marketing, have a fashion blog on the side, am passionate about authenticity, have social media experience, did some graphic design for a while, also worked at Microsoft in event planning, don’t forget the student group I started in college,….WOAH…that’s a lot. I can imagine many of us feel that way.
Each of us is a giant, beautiful mural with a million different brush strokes (I’m kind of cringing at the cheesiness but it’s the best metaphor I have). Instead of focusing on every tiny bit of information about yourself, like I did above, zoom out and look at the entire image of who you are. What does that look like?
- What motivates me? For me: helping others, connecting with others, creating visual content
- What words describe me as both a professional (career or blogger) and as a person? For me: Marketer, blogger, creative, authentic, humorous, friendly
- What am I good at? For me: Writing, styling outfits, giving advice, connecting with people, creating marketing content
Use those answers to craft a personal brand statement:
I am a creative who blogs about fashion to inspire women to embrace style and love themselves for their inner and outer beauty.
How do I communicate my personal brand?
In both your career and as a blogger, communicating your personal brand happens both online and in person.
- You communicate your personal brand by literally telling someone what it is. In an interview or at a cocktail party, be prepared answer the ol’ “so what do you do” question your well-rounded personal brand statement.
- You communicate through how you treat other people and your interactions with them. If you’re personal brand is centered around helping others, the easiest way to communicate that is by…yep, helping others.
In both your career and as a blogger, it’s imperative to have an online presence that represents your personal brand. There’s a few ways to help this:
- Create a united image and messaging online that represents who you are. This means having LinkedIn up to date and all your social media profiles represent your brand.
- Utilize your social media platform of choice to showcase your expertise. If you’re a strong writer with a passion for marketing, write articles on LinkedIn. If you’re a programmer, Medium or Twitter could be for you. If you’re a blogger…well, you get to use all of them :)
- As a blogger, all your images, writing, brand collaborations, and posts all need to fit within your personal brand. Before posting ask yourself, does this fit within my brand? If not, don’t post.
How do I leverage my personal brand to advance my career or blog?
Let your personal brand be the path that guides you toward your personal and professional goals.
Blog – Use your personal brand to dictate all the content you publish, events you attend, and brands you work with. When your goals and values become more clear to others, you will get brand deals you like more and a more engaged audience.
Career– Communicate your personal brand in all your interactions so that others clearly understand your strengths, values, and goals. Overtime, you will grow your influence and be seen as an expert in your field which will ultimately help you achieve your goals. Your coworkers and network will send more jobs and opportunities your way when they know exactly what you’re good at and what you want.
I hope you enjoyed the longest post of all time – haha! If you want more career and blogging related content leave a comment below.
Shop the look and check out the skirt and blouse from Seattle boutique, Pipe and Row!