Quick Tips to Showcase a Strong Professional Identity
1. Conduct an audit of your personal brand.
Do you know what your brand says about you right now? Your brand is not what you think you are; it’s what others perceive you to be. That’s why it’s important to accept the feedback of others.
Ask a few trusted contacts, including your mentor if you have one, to take a look at your online identity (including your social profile and website) and your resumé. What are their impressions? Do they align with how you want to be perceived?
2. Identify your elevator pitch.
What’s your story? You’ll want to create a succinct message about you that is about 50-75 words. This short bio should go at the end of every article you write.
To get inspiration, think of what you like most about your favorite corporate brands, and what you dislike, too. Take note as you start to think about your personal brand. Then, come up with five adjectives that describe who you are and five others that describe what you don’t want to be. This will help you formalize your brand identity and showcase what makes you unique.
Don’t forget to include a thumbnail of your headshot next to your bio!
3. Create a visual identity.
Your visual identity should align with your brand. Do these two things: (1) Create your logo, and (2) Identify your preferred font types and brand colors. Use these elements consistently across your content when you want to showcase your brand — in whitepapers, videos, infographics and presentations.
If you have limited control over your website’s look and feel, pick from a selection of available themes that most closely aligns with your visual identity.
4. Maintain a strong presence on social media.
Find the right social networks for your personal brand. Some platforms are more intimate than others. For example, Facebook and Instagram showcase much more about your personal interests than Twitter and LinkedIn. If you feel comfortable on these more informal platforms, by all means, leverage them. Regardless, make sure you have a strong profile on LinkedIn, the go-to platform for professional networking.
Food for thought: Think twice about sharing provocative opinions (e.g., religion and politics) and how you voice them. Don’t do or say anything you may regret later. And be careful about whom you associate with on your networks: Your contacts reflect who you are — for better or for worse.
5. Create a professional website.
Here are a few tips:
- Your website should align with your career goals. If you have a business, include details about the services you provide.
- Showcase your story in an authentic way. What makes you unique? What are your passions? What are your values?
- Create original content that you first publish on your website and then push out through your social channels. Consider syncing posts from a personal blog to appear as LinkedIn updates.
- At the bottom of any secondary publication, note where your article was originally published.
6. Define your community conscience.
Companies with strong brands extend their footprint into social responsibility. So why shouldn’t you?
When possible, leverage your business strengths to your volunteer activities; showcase what you are good at. For example, if you’re good at writing, publicity, SEO or design skills, find opportunities where those talents are needed. Conversely, if you’re interested in breaking into something new, volunteering is the perfect opportunity to learn and be mentored. This is an opportunity to amplify your multidimensional skill sets and values.
The San Francisco chapter of IABC has a number of opportunities for communications professionals in the Bay Area. If you’re interested in making great connections, building opportunities and strengthening your professional skills, complete a short interest form.
We’ll find the right role for you!
Final thought: Take part in SF IABC’s next event on personal branding!
Make Your Brand Sizzle Not Fizzle
WHEN: Wednesday, August 28, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm
WHERE: DocuSign Executive Briefing Center, 221 Main Street, Suite 1500, San Francisco
Gain insights on building and managing personal and corporate brands! Brand building can be one of the most significant things individuals or organizations can do to distinguish themselves from the competition. But building your brand isn’t a one and done deal.
Over the course of the evening, you will network and exchange ideas during multiple rapid round discussions led by Bay Area brand experts.
Susan Glenn is a writer, content strategist and marketer with extensive experience in the health & wellness and insurance markets. She is currently a communications consultant in the insurance brokerage space. She is the Vice President of Content Strategy for the San Francisco chapter of IABC and is a contributing writer for the San Francisco chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA). Susan lives in the Bay Area with her family where she hikes and grows a couple of lemon trees.