If you’ve ever created a professional social media profile or handed out a business card, you already have a personal brand. Developing a strong brand identity is an essential part of finding modern career success. Try these tips to create a cohesive brand that you can continue to use throughout the years.
Craft a Mission Statement
Come up with a simple message and identity that you want to project. Create a sentence or phrase that clearly states your brand identity. You might also want to make a three-point mission statement. Think of something as simple as “Just Do It” that can be fleshed out into a broader philosophy. While it might seem like you are crafting something outward facing, your core brand values should reflect the actual work you do. Use them both as way of selling the work you do to others and a way of directing that work to yourself.
Speak to a Brand Consultant
Work with a personal branding consultant as early in the development process of your brand as possible. Brand consultants are trained to identify the most important features of your brand, and they can make suggestions that will highlight what makes you unique and effective at whatever it is you do.
If you’ve just started working on your brand, your consultant will help you develop a mission statement and a list of values. If you’ve had your brand for a while, your consultant can help you position your current assets in a way that remains true to your existing brand identity.
Choose Quality Assets
Low-quality assets, such as a hard-to-navigate website or cheap business cards, are always detrimental to your brand. Conversely, high-quality assets will make your brand seem more reputable and legitimate. You may not need that many assets for your individual brand, but you should still make sure everything you use is as high-quality as possible.
Choose the glossy paper for your business cards. Find business clothes that portray a professional image. Sign documents with nice pens. Invest just a little more when you have the chance, and you’ll see people more immediately
Play to Your Strengths
If you hire great professionals, you can make it seem like you have the power of an entire business behind you. If you need a service that is outside of your skillset, don’t be afraid to hire an expert to handle the job. At the same time, embrace what you know you are good at and use the skillset you are trying to sell.
Start with a great designer to build your website. You might also want to work with a photographer for your profile pictures or a copywriter to amp up your web content and social media pages.
Find Signature Identifiers
When it comes to brand consistency, signature identifiers are the name of the game. Simply put, a signature identifier is something that immediately identifies your touch. This can be a personal flair in your writing, a catchphrase, or even a distinct article of clothing. If you’ve been wearing purple for years, you shouldn’t stop now. Don’t hurry to choose a signature identifier, but once you find one, stick with it. Your signature identifier needs time to become recognizable and distinctive. This will help clients recognize your brand and voice even years after your first interaction.
Your brand identity is a collection of the small impressions you make on clients, employers, and fellow professionals. If you maintain a sense of consistency and quality, you will naturally develop a personal brand that the professional world will instantly recognize.
Bio: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.