How To Brand Yourself in 10 Steps
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 30 September 2022
Published 30 August 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Being able to brand yourself successfully can prove a great way to advance your career. Imagine yourself as a product and the job market as a shop. With the proper steps, you can build awareness and knowledge of your brand to interest your audience to invest in you. In this article, we explain the purpose and importance of branding yourself and offer 10 steps on how to brand yourself.
What is branding?
Branding refers to how you perceive an organisation, product, service or person. For both personal and product branding, the main objective is to differentiate the product. In this case, you're the product. You also want to distinguish yourself from other competitors in the market so that you can draw the attention of potential clients and investors.
Product branding aims to increase the sales figures of that product. With personal branding, the target differs from person to person. Your goals, for example, might vary from getting a new job to making more money or becoming a leader in your role or industry.
Why is branding yourself successfully important?
Branding yourself is important because it's about how other people see you in a professional context. It helps promote your main strengths and attributes. It also emphasises what standout qualities you have to put you ahead of the competition.
A powerful self-brand can create opportunities for you in your chosen field and make a lasting impression with colleagues and customers. You want to control how people first perceive you and develop a connection with you from there.
How to brand yourself
Your personal brand is defined by who you are as a professional and what makes you different from other people. Below are ten steps that can follow to brand yourself successfully:
1. Determine your strengths
When defining your brand, a good starting point is determining the strengths, skills and talents you're looking to promote. Self-reflection can be challenging for some, but knowing what your strengths are can make a real difference when branding yourself. For example, you might have an easy-going personality and find talking to people relatively easy and enjoyable. These skills are highly valuable for customer-facing roles.
A good idea might be to consider the classic interview question, 'What are your strengths and weaknesses?' Having an answer to this can help you identify the strengths you believe you have.
2. Identify your passions
Find out what makes you passionate about life and your career. These can be the things that push you to improve. Passion has several great benefits when it comes to branding yourself:
Passion is motivational. It can help motivate and continue to push you forward, even when things are challenging.
Passion is inspirational. People admire passionate people and see a driven person as achieving their goals and work.
Passion is fulfilling. Being happy and fulfilled in your career is important because you tend to deliver a better job when you're feeling both.
Passion usually comes from personal preferences, and you can use it for professional gains. For example, if you're passionate about social media and creating content, you can use that to brand yourself as an excellent digital marketer.
3. Identify your goals
Establishing clear goals is necessary to understand how you're going to achieve them. For example, consider where you would like to be in six months, one year, five years and 10 years. Considering each of these checkpoints is like building a roadmap from where you are now to where you would like to be.
4. Discover your unique value proposition
Spend some time thinking about what makes you different and what you can do better or more effectively in that role. Be prepared to research your competition so you can objectively compare your results to theirs. For example, you may have a unique way of completing an everyday work-related task from other professionals in the same role, which is more successful and gets better results. Being able to highlight unique qualities such as this can get you one step further to successfully branding yourself.
5. Determine your target audience
Knowing your target audience when self-branding can help you hone the message you're putting out and keep you focussed on pushing your message to the right places. For example, suppose if you're a writing professional specialising in creating film and TV scripts. You want to focus only on that audience instead of pushing your brand to all areas of writing, such as technical authoring or translation. Once you've discovered who your target audience is and what you can do for them, creating a strategy for branding yourself can prove easier.
6. Analyse the competition
Knowing your skills, qualities, passions and goals is important, but you must also understand how these compare with your competition. This is a valuable way to see what other people in your field are doing well and what they have done poorly. Learning from their mistakes can help guide your future actions.
7. Connect with peers
With social media so readily available, unique networking opportunities exist for you to reach out and build a professional network with relevant people and brands. What people say about you is a powerful tool when branding yourself. Networking allows you to expand your professional brand and increase your chances of achieving the career goals you have set out.
Related: Networking Tips for Job Seekers
8. Build a reputation
Once you've built the foundation of your brand by establishing yourself, your objectives and your chosen platforms, you can begin to build a reputation with your audience. Word of mouth can be vital in defining your brand. Hence, you want to show and convince people that your skills are valid and backed by solid expertise.
This includes being active in your professional community and showcasing credibility, accuracy and knowledge. For example, suppose your main area of expertise is in aerodynamics. In that case, you can build an audience and reputation by creating a series of videos or attending events that relate to that field. Identify the right platforms to push this content out, such as social media, so people can see and share it.
9. Update your CV
Ensure your current CV reflects your brand and everything you're trying to promote about yourself. Read through your CV to ensure that it's focused and 'on brand' with you and your goals. If anything isn't in alignment with these things, then it's important that you update your CV. Regularly updating your CV is a beneficial practice, particularly if you're growing your personal brand and expect it to change often.
10. Publicise yourself
You can brand yourself through several platforms. To help spread your brand to the right audience, identify which platforms they're on and focus on how you can publicise yourself on them. For example, if you're a dancer, then social media apps can be vital in promoting your brand to a market interested in dancing. Likewise, suppose you discover a large number of fellow professionals and potential employers subscribed to a particular social media group. In that case, you can actively promote your skills and services in that group.
Your market is not limited to social media either. There are many great ideas for you to consider when looking to build a brand. For example, consider:
Starting a blog that you regularly update
Building a website and online portfolio
Engaging in online forums
Publishing a book or series of articles
Attending and speaking at conferences
Talking to people face to face during networking events
The purpose is to publicise your brand every way you can so people can find you more easily and understand who you are and what you represent as a brand. You want to make it as simple as possible for people to learn about you and get in touch with you. No matter how you choose to publicise yourself, be sure to keep co-workers, colleagues, clients and friends updated about what you're doing. Getting people to talk about you is a powerful marketing tool as what people in your network say about you can ultimately affect your brand.
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