How to Build a Personal Brand Online
Figure out who you are and what you stand for.
If you’re in the process of building a personal brand, one of the first things you need to do is figure out who you are and what you stand for.
Before launching your site or your social media accounts, it’s important to take some time to think about:
What makes you different (your values, passions, and interests)
Your strengths (what can you offer that others cannot?)
Your career goals (where do you see yourself in 5 years?)
Your personal mission
Actively engage with your community.
Social media is a great way to engage with your community. Comment on others’ posts, like and share their posts, reply to comments on your own posts. Ask questions that create discussion. Be positive and have a strong point of view.
Be interesting! Do the unexpected or controversial. And if it makes sense for your brand, you can even post videos to go along with your content!
Produce valuable content consistently.
Recognize that your brain is really good at lying to you. If you’re like most people, you’re probably more self-critical than you ought to be. In order to overcome this deficit in confidence, it’s crucial for you to begin producing valuable content consistently. This means taking advantage of all the time available; don’t let the “I don’t have time” excuse derail your efforts.
If one hour a day is the amount of time it takes for you to produce quality work, start there and work your way up from there as necessary. The focus should be on quality over quantity (as long as the quality is okay). Don’t worry about being perfect; just put something out into the world and get feedback from other people.
Keep in mind that everything can always be improved by someone else’s opinion—this includes things like grammar, spelling, punctuation and even tone of voice and imagery used in videos or photos. Have a friend or family member edit your work before publishing it online if possible, rather than relying on an automated spell check software alone (which might not pick up on things that readers will notice). You’ll want someone who can give objective feedback based on the value of what is being said rather than simply pointing out typos hidden within otherwise well-written pieces of content. A second pair of eyes often uncovers issues which would have gone unnoticed by most consumers anyway but may still have negatively impacted their experience reading or watching your material
Show up where it matters.
Once you’ve identified who your target audience is, it’s time to show up where they are. The main ways to do that are through:
Groups and forums on social media
Guest posts on other blogs
Promote the work of others
The easiest way to promote others is by sharing the content they create. This is a win-win for you and for the other person.
For example, if you come across an article in your industry that offers great advice or insights, share it on your social media accounts, online groups, and blog. The more people who read it, the better it’ll be for the author and their business. In return, they may share your content as well! This exchange of shares and likes will help you both grow your personal brands.
Promoting others’ work is a great way to make friends and build relationships with people in your network—and these relationships could lead to partnerships or opportunities down the road.
Have a professional photographer take a good headshot
To take a great headshot, you should get your hair and make-up done. Make sure you are wearing a good outfit for the shot, and do your research about what makes for a good headshot. It is important to have good lighting on yourself and the background behind you. If you’re not smiling in your shot or look uncomfortable, it will detract from the professional appearance of your photo.
It takes time but having a clearly defined voice helps.
The second step in building a personal brand online is to define your voice. This should not be too difficult and the process of defining yourself can help you understand how people see you, which helps with authenticity. “Find your niche,” says Grunig, who suggests that you should use “examples from your life” to illustrate whatever point it is you are trying to make. This helps people relate more easily to what you have to say. Consistency and authenticity are key when determining whether or not people will engage with your content and come back for more.
When building your brand on social media, another good rule of thumb is: Don’t be afraid to fail! Look at any successful brand – there have been failures along the way. While these mistakes might seem embarrassing at the time or even force an apology, they can also lead to success as long as you don’t give up after making a mistake!