How to Brand Yourself to Promote Your Professional Success

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 15 November 2022

Published 6 December 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.

Your personal brand is a consistent image that represents your values, skills and experience in a way that others can relate to and understand. Having a personal brand can be useful in a variety of contexts, from being memorable in a job interview to promoting your small business online.

Learning how to develop your own personal brand and embody it in your interactions can help you build a positive reputation and enhance your social and professional network. In this article, we discuss the importance of personal branding and explain how to brand yourself using a few simple strategies.

How to brand yourself

You can use the following advice as a guide on how to brand yourself to advance your career:

1. Decide why you want a personal brand

Start by determining why you want to brand yourself. Having a purpose for your brand can make your efforts more impactful and help you develop a strategic plan for the type of brand image to create.

You may want a brand to eventually become a business owner, to develop a reputation among potential employers or to generate credibility as a professional in your field. Once you know why you want your own brand, you can be intentional about the outcome of your actions.

Read more:

  • What Does a Brand Ambassador Do and How Do You Become One?

  • What Is Employer Branding? (With How-to Guide and Tips)

2. Look for inspiration

Find elements of other brands that you can incorporate into your personal branding projects. Think about the public figures or professionals in your field who have a brand you admire. Research different aspects of their branding, such as writing style, graphic design choices and the topics they post about online to determine how those factors contribute to their brand. Although it's important to develop your unique voice, you can learn from others to craft your brand guidelines.

3. Assess your current reputation

Talk to people in your personal and professional network to learn about your current reputation and gather information about how others perceive you. This can help you understand your strengths, what people like about you and how much others currently know about you and your professional aspirations. If you have a presence on social media or in your professional community, you may already have some form of a personal brand. You can use your current recognition and reputation as a starting point to adapt the way you present yourself.

4. Identify your unique characteristics

Brainstorm the qualities that make you unique to make them a focal point of your brand. When branding yourself, it's useful to highlight several characteristics that your audience can relate to while also focusing on a niche that makes you interesting and highlights your special qualifications. This is especially important when using your brand for professional and business purposes, because employers, customers and collaborators can compare the main idea of your brand to other similar businesses or candidates and determine who better fits their needs.

5. Consider your audience

When crafting a brand, think about who your target audience is, why they may be interested in your brand identity and how you can appeal to them. Being approachable and candid may be appealing to one person's target audience, while another person may prefer someone with a more serious voice and professional perspective. Identify who you want to attract with your brand, including any identifying information about their interests and values. Determine what you and your audience have in common and start emphasising those traits in your interactions, posts and business relationships to build your brand.

6. Set goals

Establish goals related to your personal brand to structure your strategy and focus on your brand identity. Goal-setting in the context of your personal brand can include publishing on social media consistently, finding new ways to promote your image, updating your brand statement or collaborating with influential people in your industry. You can also set goals related to the outcome of your branding efforts, such as attracting viewers to your website, getting a job offer, speaking at a conference or achieving specific survey outcomes related to your brand image.

Related: Career Goals: How to Set, Examples and Tips for Achieving

7. Refine your personal voice

Part of branding yourself is communicating with a unified voice that expresses who you are and what you value. You may incorporate a particular writing style to express your personal voice and strive to uphold that same attitude whenever you communicate with others. Practice writing and speaking in a way that promotes your brand values, showing that you embody your brand on a personal level. When developing your brand, the more you represent your voice, the more others may connect with your personal brand.

8. Define yourself with visual elements

When companies create a brand, they include graphic design elements such as logos and website banners to create a visual reminder of the company's purpose. Using visual elements can also support your personal branding efforts. You can incorporate visual elements into your online and in-person branding, from the graphics you use on your social media posts to the font you use on your resume. Selecting an aesthetic and choosing a few complementary colours can help your audience associate you with those visual elements. You can even use your wardrobe and outfits to contribute to your brand.

9. Create a personal website

A website is a great way to promote your brand to the public. Regardless of your profession or career goals, your personal website is a way to share your professional biography, feature samples of your portfolio, post glimpses into your personal life or promote content that you enjoy. This gives anyone who visits your site a summary of your brand values and professional mission in an accessible, concise way. Register a website domain name with your full name or brand identity to make it easy for people to find your website and learn more about you.

10. Link your platforms

Solidify your online brand presence by linking all of your social platforms and channels together. If you have multiple social media pages or websites, promote each page on all of your other profiles. This simplifies the process of cross-promoting your brand identity on all of your channels. When your target audience views your content on one channel, they can easily navigate to your other profiles and see more similar content to reinforce your brand in slightly different contexts.

11. Be consistent

Once you understand the main mission, purpose and values of your brand identity, uphold those traits consistently. Demonstrating the same characteristics in your actions and statements creates a sense of familiarity among your audience. The more consistent you are with each element of your brand, the easier it is to express your core values and quickly develop connections with members of your target audience. Uphold the same messaging within your online and in-person behaviours to show others that your brand is meaningful to you and demonstrates that it's an authentic part of your lifestyle.

12. Share your perspective

Expressing your thoughts, feelings and opinions contributes to your brand identity. Create blog posts, articles, videos and entries on your social media to share your unique perspective and use your voice to promote your brand. Choose subjects that are relevant to your brand and add to the conversation with your ideas. Talking about what inspires you and sharing your thoughts can help you provide meaningful insights that differentiate you from others in your field and generate interest in your professional life.

Related: What Does a Content Creator Do and How To Become One?

13. Use narrative techniques

Storytelling can be a powerful tool for building a brand identity. Reading or watching stories can help immerse people in an experience, which is especially helpful in a branding situation. Creating a narrative about your professional history, lifestyle choices and background can attract more interest from your audience and help them feel a personal connection to your brand.

14. Engage with people who share your values

Partnering with others can strengthen your personal brand and build community. Find people who share your values with similar personal or professional brands and ask to collaborate. Having conversations or working on projects with people who have a similar branding mission can help you develop your brand and create a network that embodies your values. This adds to your overall goal of creating authenticity and consistency in your brand in both your content and relationships.

Related: What Are Core Values? 75 Personal and Professional Examples

15. Publish work selectively

When creating your brand, be selective about the aspects of your work that you share with the public. Choose which aspects of your work you want to promote to your audience, focusing on projects that align with your brand. For example, even if you accept diverse types of projects and clients, you may only post specific assignments on your website because they match your values, mission and professional goals.

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