Your brand is a set of values and characteristics that define who you are and guides your choices in life. It is how the world sees you and describes you. Your brand is also your portfolio of knowledge and expertise in an area in which you are known.
When trying to build our brand Dr. Bessie and I have found a few things that are helpful such as, be authentic, build your presence online, create a network, write, and always be a student.
Be Who You Are
If you search the internet, you might already have a brand. You need to avoid making a negative impression of your brand.
Take the time to develop an authentic image for potential employers, colleagues, and clients. Merriam-Webster Dictionary says, “authentic self is precisely who you are or what you claim to be.”
Therefore, your brand should demonstrate exactly who you are, what you have to offer, and what can be expected from you as an expert in your field.
Your Online Presence
You also need to build your presence online. Think about how you show up on social media, how others regard you, what knowledge you have, and who knows it as well as what your online profile says about you.
Your online presence can brand you or break you, regarding what others think and say about you.
For example, have you Googled yourself lately? You need to do it because knowledge is power. You need to know what is out there on the web when people search for you, whether it be an employer or a client.
Think constructively about your presence on social media, professional websites, blogs, and online comments. Think about what you are posting and how people are responding. How you appear on online is just as important as your personal appearance.
When building your brand, you need good connections. Building a network can help you hone your communication skills, meet new people, and increase your knowledge.
Dr. Bessie and I met through online networking. We are now best friends and colleagues working on journal articles, presenting our work at conferences, blogging as well as planning a business and book together.
I think we are the proof that networking leads to future opportunities for both parties, regarding help, advice, and business. Dr. Bessie and I know the value in forming and maintaining a strong network base that will serve you for a lifetime.
Write and Write Often
Writing can help you to build your brand and establish credibility. Dr. Bessie and I have been working on our book for a year now. We decided to start a blog and share our thoughts.
We also continue to hone and expand our dissertation through journal writing. We both know it takes time and a lot of effort to build your brand.
But if you stay open to new things, you will soon be showing up everywhere. Every new opportunity creates a connection to grow your talent and brand.
Finally, make a commitment to be a student for life. I am not talking about going to school per say. I am talking about learning, or what Wikipedia calls the “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated” pursuit of knowledge.
Make it a priority to learn something new every day. It doesn’t matter how much knowledge you have in your area of expertise if you are not constantly growing. Everything changes so rapidly – it’s important to stay current on the latest trends.
You need to continually develop new skills and expand your knowledge to avoid stagnation.
In order for a brand to be truly successful, it has to know how to anticipate need.