We all know how important branding is for companies but what about us personally? A personal brand exists whether or not you create it for yourself. Not purposefully building it just means you don’t have control over it.
The concept of cultivating a personal brand can seem daunting to most of us. But it doesn’t have to be complex or time intensive and can really help people remember you.
Two of our consultants experienced this first hand after recently enrolling in The Recruitment Network Trailblazers programme that aims to develop the next generation of recruitment leaders and runs for a year. As part of the programme’s series of regular London based meetups Hannah and Ben enjoyed a workshop that was all about the importance of personal branding for recruiters.
We caught up with Hishem Azzouz from the inbound marketing and creative agency, Hoxo Media, who presented the keynote on the day and shared some of his key takeaways with us:
“You can only reach a certain amount of people by calling and meeting them. The amazing part about creating content is that you can reach thousands of people with one post.
Recruiters historically just share their new jobs everywhere online, but we all know this isn't successful and quite frankly doesn't work.
Recruiters are in a really unique position. They listen to candidates’ challenges and aspirations within their industry along with the businesses in that industry. If you have the courage to start sharing your opinion on candidates/clients’ challenges/aspirations then you can work yourself into an amazing position as a recruiter where you won't just be perceived as someone who helps people get new jobs, but someone who is an expert within their industry.
Start sharing your opinion online as a recruiter and take a step closer to becoming a thought leader within your space, which in turn will make you stand out amongst your competitors.”
Personal branding isn’t just important for recruiters though. No matter what role or industry you’re in; the more successful you want to be, the more important your personal brand becomes. Whether you just want to improve engagement with your network or you’re aiming for personal branding to open doors to public speaking gigs, you decide how far you take it. As a rule of thumb, the more you put into it the more you’ll get out of it.
How to get started
Your personality is probably the most unique thing about yourself and being your authentic self is the basis of building your personal brand. Don’t be afraid to let your personality and opinions show in the way you communicate online and the types of stories you tell.
It’s all about communicating and creating emotional connections with your audience. Being honest about what you know and don’t know will also help you build credibility in your industry.
Ever Googled yourself? We suggest you do! Google automatically gives priority to your social channels and will list the channel you’re most active on above the others. Know what search results are attached to your name by auditing them and get rid of anything that doesn’t fit your vision for your personal brand and could even damage your reputation.
Next up, take some time to determine your personality traits and amplify them to make your personal brand stronger. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What makes you unique?
- What do you stand for?
- What are your values and beliefs?
- What are you passionate about? What do you want to be known for?
- Who are you?
- What makes you unique?
- What is your vision for your personal brand?
- What is your goal with personal branding?
- What are your professional goals?
- Who is your audience? Who can you help?
- How can you help them? What makes you different?
Including images in your updates is best practice but make sure they are copyright free. There are multiple sites that offer free images without copyright such as unsplash.com, pixabay.com and pexels.com.
You’re now ready to start sharing your personal brand with the world! Start by posting regularly, experiment with short videos and write content online and offline.
Ben and Hannah’s top 10 personal branding takeaways:
- Do a little, often. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
- Have an opinion and share it online.
- Connect with relevant people and follow influencers for inspiration.
- Engage regularly with other people’s content and posts.
- Pick your channels and post regularly instead of posting sporadically on lots of channels.
- Include relevant hashtags.
- LinkedIn is increasingly becoming the tool to search and find high calibre candidates, it has never been more important to have your own personal LinkedIn brand.
- It’s key you build your influence within your sector by posting articles on your niche, having an opinion on topics related to that industry and asking peoples’ thoughts on current developments.
- A new feature to LinkedIn that is predicted to take off more and more, is the production of video content.
- When producing content and engaging with your audience it’s crucial to persist. Initially traction will be slow, but as you continue posting regularly your following and audience will grow and reach more people.
Finally, be patient and don’t expect overnight success. Everyone expects a flurry of engagement but how often do you engage with other people’s posts? Simply posting an update is not enough, so make sure to respond to comments and questions from your audience and engage with other people’s post too.
As you see, it doesn’t have to as complex as building a whole personal branding strategy and your own website. With tools like LinkedIn publishing at your fingertips, writing short blogs and sharing your take on a topic in your industry has never been easier. Why not challenge yourself to make a start today?