In a society where jobs for life are a thing of the past, it isn’t just interim contractors who need a brand to sell, we all do! My mum is constantly talking to me about my Facebook profile (she hasn’t cottoned on to Twitter just yet) and the risks she thinks I run with some of my posts. Believe me, there is nothing untoward on there and I have my privacy settings on high (more because of photos of my friends’ children) but while my mum’s reasoning is different, she is certainly right about something – our online presence is all a part of our personal brand.
For most of us, this falls to LinkedIn. Here we create our online corporate persona – with recommendations and connections to match that. Personally, I am not a believer in the more connections, the more connected. I think meaningful connections are worth far more than countless “please add me” requests. Social media is still relatively new and companies, never mind individuals, are still grappling with using its various forms for engagement (internally & externally), their own company presence in the market and of course, attracting active and passive talent. Building your LinkedIn profile is not the only way of communicating your brand however. It’s important to look at the way you present yourself – including both the nonverbal and personal presentation. You are your brand; you need to make sure you are living by the standards you set.
It’s also a great idea to look for opportunities to extend your brand presence, create online content for blogs, speak at events, present awards – if an opportunity comes up to establish yourself as an expert in your field – take it!
So, how do you decide what your brand is? Well of course you need to look at what sets you apart from your competitors. Why would I employ YOU over someone with a similar CV? Just like looking at an organisation’s brand, you need to decide your value set and mission and communicate your strengths and talents.
Interestingly, people often confuse building a personal brand with being “famous,” which In our current world means possessing internet presence. However, your brand is more than that, your brand is what people say about you when you aren’t around and it’s about sharing the “real” you with everyone you encounter.
It’s an interesting and new concept to most of us – that we are our own brands. It is a responsibility that makes a lot of people uncomfortable but in a world where the market is constantly evolving, it’s something you need to understand and be able to capitalise on in order to forward your own career. From your CV to your handshake to the connections you make in the market – it’s all about building that brand. So define it, shape it and spread the word, we’re all our own marketeers.
Macmillan Davies is hosting an Interim HR Networking Evening on the 2nd December 2014 in our City office. The headline for the evening is ‘Building Your Brand’ which is open to experienced HR Interims or those looking to establish themselves as an Interim. Click here for more information.