It is no secret that in today’s world, success comes from marketing ourselves. People who have mastered the skill of selling themselves are sometimes mistakenly labelled as having questionable connections. However, the reality is that the way we market ourselves helps us enjoy strong reputations and can quickly motivate our network to help us transition flawlessly.
We normally seek to differentiate ourselves from the crowd and make a difference in our societies. Creating a personal brand identity is, therefore, the cornerstone to achieving this as it gives us the opportunity to create an image that celebrates our individuality.
Personal branding entails developing a representation of who you are and who you want to be. It is a practice of recognising our unique talents that enables us to get opportunities sooner. It helps us determine our needs and identify who is most likely to fulfil them.
With the current tough and competitive job market, it is important to understand the concept of personal branding and how our engagements today can affect our future. The actions we use to convey our personal brands help us to successfully build our careers and reputations. Those actions also help maintain social inclusion and well-being.
Marketing ourselves can be difficult and we may not even know where to start. However, it is always the little things that count. Discover the mark you leave behind by creating a network. Some people enjoy small circles but we have to note that differences attract. Normalise communicating with outstanding veterans in the field to learn from them.
Having a large network is great but you have to nurture it by making regular efforts. These efforts include transactional activities such as joining speaking groups, serving as a volunteer on various non-profit boards where you have a passion and mentor younger professionals to obtain fresh perspectives. We should also prioritise attending short training courses, workshops and cultural presentations. The overall aim is to use our passion, knowledge and skills to maximise our chances of finding opportunities.
Developing a personal brand is an ongoing process that involves interacting with others through face-to-face communication and online. It is also crucial to create a professional self-image by mastering the ability to sell ourselves in cyberspace. Let us, therefore, use social media productively. Personal branding can be enhanced through a variety of mediums and its success widely depends upon our presentation and performance.
While promoting your brand, always maintain one public persona, being authentic is key. We should also be ready for criticism at times. That’s the only way to grow.
Decide what sets you aside, people are watching you.
*Saara Meke Amakali is an Industrial Psychology and Sociology graduate. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org