Building a personal brand is crucial, especially for creative people in a creative position or artistic field. In the beginning, it can definitely seem intimidating and confusing trying to build a personal brand. To a lot of people, personal branding might not seem important or necessary for them, but I'm here to say it's important for all of us to build our personal brands.
Now you might be thinking: what exactly is a personal brand? Personal branding is the effort to communicate and present your value or ideas to the world. That's why I believe it's genuinely for anyone and everyone! No matter what industry you're in or what kind of job you have (or dream of having) developing you personal brand is an amazing way to stand out! Whether it's posting regularly your ideas and interests on LinkedIn or on a blog like mine, there are al sorts of ways you can strengthen your personal brand.
One of my biggest fears that's prevented me from starting my personal brand is not knowing what I have to say and thinking what I have to say isn't valuable.
Who wants to read my LinkedIn posts about marketing when I haven't had an "official" marketing job in 4 years? Who will actually take the time to click a link to read my blog posts? I'm not an expert or professional enough, so what can I say that's really worth it? Can I share my hobbies and personal interests—isn't LinkedIn supposed to professional? I don't know what I have to say that's "professional enough."
These are a few of the thoughts that have crossed my mind and created self-doubt. What's important to remember is that you decide what your personal brand is and how you build it. You decide what you post and where you share it (like LinkedIn, Instagram, or on a blog). You decide how personal you want to get in your posts. You decide who to interact with on whichever platform(s) you choose. To start building your personal brand, consider your goals.
Do you want to build a network of like minded people?
Are you wanting to develop your portfolio?
Do you want to write, vlog, talk, or share photos of your projects or work stuff?
These are just a few questions to keep in mind as you start to grow your personal brand. If you want to build a network, think about what kind of community want to join yourself or even build. Think about where other members of your community/network might be: LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok are a few good starting places to consider. If you want to write mostly, consider posting more often on LinkedIn and adding more to your personal profile so future connections know what your education and work background is like; this will help them decide if you have common interests. A well developed LinkedIn profile also makes you appear like a "real person," and that will convince someone to connect with you.
Starting a blog is also a great option if you're a writer. You can start with a free account on most web design platforms like WordPress or Wix. (I personally use Wix because I'm most familiar with it and I know how to make it work for what I need better than other platforms I've tried.) Experiment with a few free options so you can decide which platform is best for you. Then, get to writing! I recommend writing just for fun for yourself. Don't worry about publishing it and thinking of who will read it. You'll get stuck in your own head and might psych yourself out.
If you want to share photos of your portfolio and upcoming projects, consider creating an Instagram specific to your personal brand. For example, recently I launched @BayLeighCreates so I can share my marketing portfolio and advice as well as share my crafts and hobbies. If you want to create videos, consider YouTube or TikTok depending on what type of content you want to create (do some research to figure out which platform will work best for what you want to do). If you want to talk, consider starting a podcast and inviting friends or others to be guests on each episode.
Taking the first step to start is always the hardest part. If you wait until you're ready, you'll never be ready. Go for it and you may be surprised how much you enjoy yourself. To make it manageable, set realistic goals and don't bite off more than you can chew. Set a goal to post 2-4 times a week or month. You might be a little rusty at first, but overtime you'll grow more confident and learn how to improve your posts/content. Have questions about how to start your personal brand? Please reach out; I'm more than happy to chat!