Although most people appreciate the importance of a strong brand for a business or organisation, the concept of personal branding isn’t as widely understood.
But in the same way that good branding gives a business or organisation a clear identity and helps it differentiate itself from the competition, building a strong personal brand will help you as an individual stand out in your industry and show prospective employers and clients what you’re all about.
If you’re still new to the concept of personal branding and how it can benefit your career, here are five reasons you should be actively developing your personal brand.
1) It can open up new job opportunities
Whether you’re currently looking for a job or not, developing your personal brand can open up new job opportunities and help you become more visible to potential employers.
Research from the California Polytechnic State University shows that personal branding helps individuals differentiate themselves from competitors in their specific job market and give more personality to their resume. Personal branding will also enable you to grow your professional network, and since who you know is often just as important as what you know when it comes to landing a new job, the wider your professional network the more you’ll stand out.
2) It will boost your self-confidence
Taking the time to focus on your strengths, skills and other positive qualities will help you develop more confidence in your own abilities and what you have to offer. You’ll also become more comfortable talking about yourself and describing your strengths, mission and career goals, which will come in handy when talking to prospective clients and employers.
3) It can help you develop and showcase your specialty
Employers and recruiters often prefer to hire people who are specialists rather than generalists, and personal branding is the best way to stand out as an expert in your field. If you don’t have a clear specialty yet, think about what you love doing or the areas you excel in and then look into how you can start developing these skills even further.
For instance, you could take an online course or MOOC, volunteer with an organisation in your niche or read industry specific publications and study up on the latest research. Once you can show employers that you’re the best at what you do, you’ll already have one foot in the door.
4) You’ll establish career goals
As you work on your personal brand and develop your specialty, you’ll also start to think about where you are in your career and what you want to accomplish in the future. So in addition to positioning yourself as an expert, you’ll be able to establish some long and short term career goals.
Establishing career goals as you develop your personal brand will also help you to ensure that any new jobs or projects you tackle in the future will align with your personal brand.
5) You’ll build more credibility
The more visible you become online and in professional circles, the more credibility you’ll have in your niche. Clients and employers want to know that you can actually do what you say you can, so building up good reviews and testimonials online, linking to case studies and writing blog posts or guest articles that showcase your expertise are all great ways to develop your brand and establish credibility.
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