Developing your personal brand to advance your career

Publication date: 15 January 2019
Article type: Blogs and Articles

Personal branding has become a crucial skill in the workplace. Katrina Cliffe, Managing Director of KC Communications, gives her insight on personal branding. 

Personal branding has been talked about a lot in the media. In fact, Forbes was talking about it back in 2012. If you think about how much the world has evolved since then, Forbes was predicting the future when it said: ‘Personal branding in the future workplace is a crucial skill for employees and recruiters alike.’ 

People buy from people but, with that said, it is important that you demonstrate that you are the sort of person that customers would want to buy from or buy into. Your own personal brand is not unlike a corporate brand. When somebody buys a product, they do their research on it, and potential customers are now doing the same for people. Consumers want to hear the story behind the founders; they want to know about their failures, struggles and successes. This means putting yourself out there and marketing yourself, in addition to your business. 

Alongside this, employers are now much more likely to search online for people to get to know them before they even step into the office for an interview. Industry leaders and potential business opportunities will have more ways to connect with you and are more likely to come across your content. So if you are wanting to grow your business or progress up the career ladder, then developing a ‘personal brand' is going to play a vital role in helping to make that happen.  

Developing your profile and your reputation will enable opportunities to come to you; for you to sell yourself when you are not present

A great way to step up your personal branding is through social media. This is a great platform to network, demonstrate your expertise and raise your credibility without even having to leave your desk. 

It is essential to think about your different social profiles and use them in the best way possible. LinkedIn is a business network, so it is wise to keep your images and updates to that of a business nature. Twitter can be used for business to business, but you can be a little more playful with this platform and allow your personality to come across. Facebook is another great platform for business to business, depending on your industry, but it may be best to keep this social media platform for your personal life and set up a company page in which to do your business networking and promotion. Have a think about your social profiles and ask yourself: ‘What do they say about who I am?

Be authentic, professional and consistent

The best way to create a personal brand is to share, share and share. Share insights into your industry such as interesting tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates from other like-minded professionals. Have a think about blogs – can you write some thought-led content around a subject matter to make people believe you are an expert in that area? 

Commenting on topics that are affecting your industry is another way to show potential customers or employees that you are knowledgeable and have an ‘expert opinion’. It is also essential to engage with others by replying to comments, recommending other people and encouraging reviews. Share your successes too. It is all well and good getting fantastic results, but if nobody knows about it, they won't see the potential you have to help their business in the same way. 

Here are my top tips for creating a successful personal brand:

  • get your profiles in order
  • have a voice and don’t be afraid to use it 
  • be authentic
  • be professional
  • be consistent
  • engage with others

Finally, remember that personal branding is about focusing on what makes you, you and not comparing yourself to others in your industry.

Katrina Cliffe, Managing Director and Founder of Huddersfield based Marketing Agency, KC Communications