Whether you’re endorsing a company or trying to establish your personal identity, branding is a fundamental step toward creating you own unique professional recognition. The challenging part of personal branding is how to brand yourself.
Many questions arise when I think about trying to establish my personal brand within the PR industry. How do I brand myself when I’m not sure I have something to say? Or how do I even get started? How do I make myself stand out?
Katie Konrath, a personal branding blogger, suggests that the first steps to being able to successfully brand yourself are:
- Spend your time learning about what is going on in your field. — Read books, articles and blogs, and stay up-to-date with relevant information and technology.
- Write about what you’ve learned. — Consider starting a blog or website. Write about something that interests you or something you learned about. Even if you don’t have expertise to share, you’re sharing that you are a passionate learner.
- Generate brand awareness through networking. — You should be connecting with other professionals in your industry through social networks, such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Networking is one of the best ways to get yourself known in your industry.
By forming relationships with people, you can establish credibility within your industry, and greatly expand your brand long-term. Dan Schawbel, Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, wrote that the “four rules of networking that you should keep in mind are mutualism, giving, targeting, and reconnecting. Schawbel highly emphasizes that you never want to lose touch with professionals in your field because that way those people will remember you when new job opportunities arise.
Within the job market, employers want to hire passionate people, who are eager to get the job done and stand out amongst the rest. Social media and public relations innovator Todd Defren said: “We aim for crashing waves when we should aspire to never-ending ripples. The crashing wave makes a lot of noise; the never-ending ripple carves out canyons.”
I believe that the key to a successful personal branding of myself is to get my name out into the PR industry, become an expert in PR and network.