Personal Branding Essential for Employees and Entrepreneurs

Marieke Stoop
Latest posts by Marieke Stoop (see all)

Personal branding is about you. Companies currently are receiving a lot of application letters and CV’s from candidates. Your presentation on LinkedIn and other online media are viewed as part of screening. Is your online profile representing you as the most qualified candidate?

Not only job seekers should be aware of their personal branding, also entrepreneurs, VP’s, executives and directors. Future employees are screening your company, their actions and profiles of executives to get a glimpse of what the organisation is about and what the board members and employees are up to.

Personal branding vs Company Branding

Personal branding is a marketing strategy focusing on the most important product: You. To develop your personal brand you have to find out your key aspects of who you really are. Company branding is product branding and is based on the core values of the company but also to make sure the product or service will be sold. Its linked to what they want to be in order for you to buy their product. You could do the same with personal branding, but the truth it that it would be shown sooner or later that what you are selling is not the real authentic you. HR departments, recruiters, hiring managers and future employees are nowadays screening the entire Internet to find out what you do, what you share to get an idea of who you are.

Steps to build your online personal brand

  1. Who are you?

As your audience (your potential client or employer) we need to get an idea of who you are by your interests, passion, values, strengths and experiences. Also your online branding (on social media e.g. your LinkedIn profile) has to consist of a mission statement; what are your doing in your life and what is it that you care about.

  1. What is it that you can deliver? What do you promise?

Step 1 will tell us who you are and what you care about. Step 2 is about your unique value and what you deliver or promise. What can we expect from you? What’s in it for us if we work with you, asking your for your service or hiring you?

  1. Target Market

Define who is your target market. Where do see yourself working, what is your ideal company, client or service and please show this on your (online) personal brand.

Be aware of all that you share on Internet. The short examples are some mistakes I experience often supporting young professionals, executives and entrepreneurs in developing their online brand.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • A profile picture on LinkedIn or on other social media profiles (as often the profile picture is shown to the public) is not a selfie nor a photo taken by your friends, at your holiday, family event or at your wedding. Go and see a professional photographer and ask for photo in high resolution (to be used for other documents, books, leaflets, brochures etc. and a low resolution to be used on all your social media profiles.
  • Make sure your private pictures (on Facebook for example) are not shared with everyone; make them private to your friends or only to you. Cover photos and profile pictures are always shown to the public.
  • Please be aware of what you share and post online, and what kind of perception it is that you want to give your audience.

Personal branding is about You. For individuals who are looking to stand out from the crowd. Get your career to the next level. Do you need more information or what to have an honest feedback about your online presence, please contact me.

These articles may be of interest to you:

LinkedIn tips for Job Seekers

LinkedIn Tips for entrepreneurs & freelancers to build your company brand