Let’s start at the beginning. Why should you build an online personal brand online for your career?
There are several very good reasons. First of all, branding involves establishing your presence online and as you know, everyone goes online now to check you out. If you’re not online you really don’t have a brand, at least not where it matters most.
Part of the act of online personal branding involves creating useful information related to your expertise (“content”) so that when someone Googles your name, you dominate the first page of the search results. If 5 other people with your same name appear above you on page one of the searach results, your brand doesn’t look that strong.
In addition to mere presence, posting useful information online related to your career field helps establish you as an authority in your field, and that’s huge. It gives you the chance to demonstrate your expertise to prospective employers, your peers and potential clients, and to present it that way that you understand it best.
Like being on stage, there’s also a certain assumption of authority when you post information online and if you do it consistently, you can become a respected voice in your field.
Of course, your information must be accurate, useful and come from personal knowledge. Integrity is a critical part of any brand, so don’t get caught plagarizing or misrepresenting yourself. Those are the kind of things that are hard to overcome, and can create a brand you don’t want.
I’ve written several posts on How To brand yourself, but rule number 1 is that it’s important to post new information consistently. The greater the frequency the better but it’s important that whatever you do, you do it consistently whether that’s once a week of once a month.
A January 2011 study by Bute Coaching, a London-based professional coaching firm, revealed that 45 percent of people don’t even think about their own personal brand. Don’t be one of those people.
Management guru Tom Peters, writing in his book The Brand You50 (Reinventing Work): Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself from an “Employee” into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! states: “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are the CEOs of our own companies: Me, Inc.”