By Kibet Tobias
What comes to your mind when you hear of Toyota? Is it the quality of its services, excellent innovations or cheap & strong cars?
Toyota is an example of a business that has invested in personal branding as an art to survive the ever-changing competitive industry. Because of this, people perceive it as a strong brand with a lot of value and most likely they’ll choose its products.
Do you ever wonder what others think of you, your career or business? Why do you think some people excel quickly in the job market yet they may not have all the skills and experiences as you? The answer is excellent personal branding.
According to Ms. Esther Kamau, a career coach at Corporate Staffing, you have a unique personal brand. That is what people say or think about you when they see and talk about you.
So how do you take charge of how others perceive you? How do you shape their thoughts and views? How do you even balance your personal brand?
We may not answer all these questions in this article now, but there are a few ways of balancing your personal brand online with an aim of marketing yourself and your career.
1. What are you really good at?
Have you already identified the area which your excel in? What are your talents or passions? What do you want to be known for?
For me, I chose writing because I love it and enjoy informing, educating and persuading others through information.
I don’t necessarily have to be talented in this area for others to think that I am the best or strongest writer but I decided to be good at this skill by learning and consistently practicing doing so, I am building my reputation and portfolio online.
So if you want to be unique and stand out from the rest, identify your strengths, follow your passions and work on it.
2. You have a choice to use the right social media platform at the right time
In the current digital world, several online platforms are being innovated daily. Technology has brought the world together to a global village.
Now, in the first step, you have already decided on what you want to be known for. After making a list of those things, putting into account your profession, goals, and hobbies; then it’s important that you choose the right social media platform for the appropriate posts.
Obviously, you will be writing and sharing these key things online. Who is your target audience?
If you want to build your professional brand, is it fit to use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?
For this case, LinkedIn is the most appropriate as it is completely professional. Whatever you write and share on this site, should always relate to your career.
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3. Don’t separate your audience
Facebook and Twitter are very tricky and challenging to use. So it is good to consider the people who can access your profile before you post and share things. Remember there are different users on both platforms.
Your audience may consist of friends, family members, co-workers, bosses, in-laws and more.
This is where you need to balance your professional and personal life. You don’t have to appear too personal or professional.
4. Would you want your future boss to see this?
As I mentioned earlier, using social media is very challenging. If it is handled carefully, it will open up great opportunities for you. But if used inappropriately it may hurt your chances of getting a job in the future without you knowing.
Remember that some employers may use social media to conduct background checks on candidates before hiring them.
Sometimes back, I attended a job interview with a certain company where I was asked to give out my official social media names, from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
It was unexpected and shocking to me. What did they really want to check? I wanted the job and so I had to give out details.
To cut the long story short, I was lucky because the interviewers didn’t find any unpleasant posts on my accounts.
In other words, you should mind the language and kind of stuff you post on social media. Always clean up your timelines.
If you manage your online brand, you will find the perfect balance in the end. With that said, the above tips will greatly help you build a strong reputation. Identify your strengths, be consistent and take risks!
Tobias is a Content Writer at Career Point Kenya. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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