4 Rules For Building Your Personal Brand In 2021
The marketing sector has been shouting about personal brands from the rooftops for a few years now. Of course, we’ve been shouting about a number of things – so it may seem difficult to manage all of them at once. We understand.
But your personal brand needs to be a priority.
Other than making your day-to-day job as a recruiter far easier, building your personal brand means you will cut down on your regular admin tasks. Furthermore, developing a digital presence is no longer an option for recruiters in 2021 – it’s imperative to the job. As the Open College explains, “the question is no longer if you have a personal brand, but whether you choose to guide and cultivate the brand yourself or to let it be defined on your behalf.”
Make a note of the four rules below to bear in mind this year.
1. Invest in content
Don’t panic – we don’t mean you need to start making monthly reimbursements to your marketing team. Investing in content is about understanding the value that marketing content can bring to your personal brand, which then also has a positive impact on your network, your time spent on interacting with clients and candidates, and ultimately your sales.
If you’re unsure where to start, take a look at your company website and existing social media channels. What types of content are being shared? If there’s anything relevant, taking the two seconds it takes to share it on LinkedIn will demonstrate your knowledge of the market to your connections.
An even better option is to work with your marketing team on creating your own content. Make sure you don’t go off and create all your own blogs, images and videos – although your intentions are good, this can be damaging to your overall brand consistency. Speak to your marketing team about your ideas – perhaps a video interview for your audience to learn more about you, or a blog series discussing current market trends – and ask for their advice. The likelihood is, they’ll be more than happy to work with you on creating the content you’re interested in, and will be able to give you tips on how to best optimise and promote it.
Another key to investing in content is to look at what your competitors are doing. Are they having conversations with their connections on LinkedIn? Are they interacting with candidates and clients in the comments sections? Are they posting their own content to create a conversation? Whatever you like the look of, take note and incorporate into your own personal brand.
2. Look presentable
If it was still 2012, this would mean that you need a professional headshot of you smiling and wearing a suit to use as your profile picture on LinkedIn. Thankfully, those days are (mostly) over – but making a good first impression online is still imperative to your personal brand.
Firstly, make sure you have a great profile picture on LinkedIn (and any other social media channels you use for work – use the same photo to keep it consistent and make yourself more recognisable, no matter which channel people might see you on). The term “great profile picture” is, of course, subjective – so go with whatever you are comfortable with. As long as you look approachable, and the picture is good quality (don’t use a selfie!) then you’re all set.
Secondly, make sure your LinkedIn profile is the best it can possibly be. Every section of your profile needs to be filled in, written well and proofread by someone else to ensure there’s no spelling or grammar mistakes. If you have content such as blogs, videos and downloads that you can add to your profile, make sure you do. Even though the most common place your connections will see you is in their newsfeed or inbox, it’s also vital that your profile is top-notch in case any clients or candidates are intrigued and want to know more about you.
3. Be approachable
It might seem like a given, but being friendly and approachable online plays a huge part in your personal brand. Being approachable doesn’t just mean you need to be smiling in your profile picture, or hugging your clients when you meet them – it means candidates, clients and your wider connections feel comfortable contacting you. Whether it’s on social media, by email, by phone or otherwise, you need to ensure people feel like they know you when they are getting in touch.
Understandably, there is a happy medium when it comes to being approachable. It doesn’t mean you need to use 50 emojis in every social media post or email you send out – it can be as simple as using the odd colloquial term in your communication. Writing or speaking in an impersonal or overly-formal manner isn’t going to encourage your audience to engage in a conversation with you. Communicating in a pleasant, relaxed and easy-going tone will do wonders for your personal brand.
If you’re not sure how approachable you are currently coming across online, ask your peers. Speak to your manager or your marketing team about your personal brand, and how they view how you’re coming across. Constructive criticism will get you exactly where you need to be!
4. Share, share, share
Last but certainly not least is the importance of sharing. Of course, sharing your company’s marketing content or your own personal content is the first port of call. However, there’s far more than this that you can, and should, be sharing.
Sign up to read articles about the industries you recruit for so you stay on top of sector news every morning while you’re having your first coffee. If there are any valuable articles worth sharing, do so – post it on LinkedIn with a couple of sentences about your thoughts on the points made. Positioning yourself as a thought leader in your field will help you gain trust from clients and candidates.
Along with sharing content, make sure you’re also sharing yourself, too. (No, we don’t mean throwback selfies from a holiday with your mates in 2009.) Whether you’re starting a conversation in the comments on someone’s LinkedIn post, arranging a Zoom meeting with a new client or texting a candidate who is nervous about their upcoming interview, it’s vital that you are easy to communicate with. Making yourself available to your connections and wider network can be as simple as always putting your phone number, email address and LinkedIn link at the end of your social media posts, or in your email signature.
The key is to ensure anyone you communicate with, either directly or indirectly, feels that they are speaking to someone who is approachable, knowledgeable and dedicated to what they do. By building your personal brand this way, your sales are guaranteed to increase in 2021.