If you’re being honest with yourself, your personal brand could probably use a spit-shine. Reputations don’t maintain themselves; like so much else, they demand constant attention and no small amount of work.
It’s fortunate that you don’t have to go about this work entirely on your own. While each and every one of us is ultimately responsible for the state of their personal brand, we all have a sturdy stock of resources at our disposal to make the job easier.
Those resources don’t look precisely the same for everyone. Those of us farther along in our careers have deeper personal networks and the advantage of a large body of work to point to. But all of us, even those of us just beginning our personal branding journeys, can leverage the digital and non-digital resources that make the world of business go round.
What resources might those be, you ask? Start with these nine, many of which you’ve surely put to use already.
1. Your Personal LinkedIn Profile
You have a LinkedIn profile already. You’d better, anyway. Why not leverage it to build your personal brand and take your career to the next level?
It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Start by posting regular short updates on your feed: perhaps two per week, no more than 100 or 200 words, telling your connections what you’re working on or what you’re watching in your industry right now.
Take the next step by making a concerted effort to connect with thought leaders in your industry. The important thing here is to really connect with these people, not just request that they connect on LinkedIn and consider your work done.
2. High-Authority Digital Outlets
Use high-authority digital outlets like Forbes and Inc to address captive audiences receptive and eager to learn about your personal and professional brand. This Inc profile for Aaravindha Himadra, a spiritual teacher based in Washington State, shows the power (and visibility) of such assets. Neglect them at your peril.
3. Your Company LinkedIn Page (If You Have One)
Back to LinkedIn for a moment: If you have a company page that’s distinct from your personal page, whether because you operate your own company or operate as a sole proprietor with a separate brand, use it to cultivate an image of influence and prosperity. This can be as simple as including a tight, compelling “elevator pitch” for your company (or professional activities) and ensuring that all your contact information (including your website) is accurate.
4. Your Twitter Account
Twitter is another high-authority web property that’s part social media outlet, part business directory listing, part personal branding platform. Even if you don’t enjoy using Twitter or interacting with others through this notoriously chatty medium, it’s worth building out your Twitter profile and using your account to share valuable content that’s relevant to others in your industry. Positioning yourself as someone who’s always ahead of the curve is a great way to elevate your personal brand, after all, and Twitter is a good place to get that done.
5. Your Instagram Account
Instagram isn’t as personal as you’d imagine. Not anymore. Indeed, it’s the perfect social media outlet for professionals who’d like to burnish their personal and professional brands in the same place.
And you don’t even need to be good with a camera. One overlooked but potentially powerful tool is Instagram Live, a super intuitive tool that lets you speak directly to your audience whenever the mood strikes you (and to deliver carefully prepared remarks too). Few live video tools are as effective at cultivating authenticity around a personal brand.
6. Your Facebook Account
Facebook is inescapable. You already use it, try as you might to avoid it. And while there are very real concerns about the spread of misinformation and disinformation on Facebook, it remains possible to carve out an authentic zone of influence on the world’s most popular social media platform.
To put yourself out there, so to speak. One key is smart use of relevant Facebook groups — groups composed of like-minded people to whom your brand naturally speaks. See this Social Media Today guide for a fuller overview of the power of Facebook groups.
7. Your Medium Account
Medium is, basically, a ready-made blog for people without blogs (or whose blogs simply don’t reach the audience they deserve). Use it to publish original content in line with your brand and to engage with thought leaders in your field, the better to round out said brand. Side note: the Medium Partner Program could help pad your bank account if you’re able to cultivate a sizable audience.
8. Non-Competitive Blogs in Your Field
The rules around guest posting are a little wishy-washy these days. Most importantly, Google is picky about links emanating from guest posts, so you have to do it right or you shouldn’t bother at all. Neil Patel, as usual, is an authority on this topic.
9. Your Own Personal Blog
Throw in your own personal blog to the Medium-and-guest-blog mix and you have a potent combination of brand-building content outlets at your disposal. To be sure, it’s important to keep your blog musings on-brand and family-friendly (unless that’s not in keeping with your brand — see what we did there?) But your blog is indeed a place where you can really, truly be yourself — where you can show off the fullest distillation of your brand as you’ve always wanted it to be.
A Stronger Personal Brand Awaits
A stronger, sturdier, better-rounded, healthier personal brand awaits us all, or at least those of us willing to put in the work to will it into being.
Leverage one or two of these resources and you might see a modest improvement in the state of your personal brand. Leverage four or five and you’ll see real, meaningful improvement. Put all of them to use and — well, you’ll just have to see for yourself, won’t you?
It won’t be easy. If putting in this work sounds difficult, that’s because it will be. It’ll take time, effort, and grit on your part, and it’ll involve more than a few setbacks.
But you’ve persevered through tougher trials. You’ll come out of this one stronger as well. Might as well get started today, the sooner to see yourself through to the other side.