Personal Branding: 5 basic steps to brand yourself

Personal Branding Maria Camila VillaLessons learned from Search and Social Media Marketing for international business MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) as part of Business, Accounting and Management Courses at Salford Business School.

Personal branding: this is your image-your personality, skills, values, strengths and goals. Personal branding permits you to show the best of you and allows you to create the best impression on your social circle. Depending on how positive that impression is, it can be translated into a successful professional career or business. In the digital age, you can communicate your brand to the world, establish a conversation with your audience and build a network through Social Media channels but also you can have a higher rank in search engines so your future employer or business partners can find you based on your skills.

This short recipe will contribute to your career development and land your dream job:

1. Google yourself

You want people to be able find positive links about you in the top results. However, in many cases you could have very high competition as your name or your brand might be very common, same name as someone else with a bad reputation or you could have negative links about you and your work that might impact negatively on your online reputation. You need to know what will people find when they Google your name. In this step I recommend taking a screen capture to compare the before and after of your Online Personal Brand. Make sure you are not logged in to your Google+ account.

2. Knowing Your Personal Brand

Define who you are:

You need to know yourself and your purpose or mission in life, skills, talents, personality, and weaknesses. A SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis is an excellent tool!

Find your target audience:

Your target audience is the people you want to work with or establish a professional network. Your professional connection. Social and professional circle.

Know your influencers:

Key influencers and individuals who would make employment decisions or help in your application process, or will be the bridge between other important people. Later on, you will reach them on their social networks.

Know your competition:

Make a SWOT analysis of people who do the same type of work you do or have the same skills you have. It will give you a wider view to understand your uniqueness. You can research them in their professional networks. My top ten competitors were searched in LinkedIn, which is the social media site that I am going to use for job hunting as many job ads are posted frequently in this network. Using the keyword Integrated Marketing Communications, all the results are filtered selecting those who are based in the UK in the same order they appear in the lists. You can check what kinds of skills they have and their use of social media for personal branding.

Find the skills required in the sector you want to work in or your dreamed job:

You can include them in your description on your social media networks after selecting the best keywords.

Find the best keywords

Google offers a great Keyword Tool that provides you with keyword ideas. When you type a word(s) Google Adwords will give you new suggestions related to the original search. You need to select a highly searched keyword but with lower competition. As a Primary keyword I select my name: Maria Camila Villa Jurado, which is my personal brand. My secondary keywords are Integrated marketing Communication as this is the area where I would like to work, and Public relations and IT skills as they are skills with  higher local searches and lower competition.

3. Sharing Your Brand with the World

Once you have a clear idea of your personal brand, it’s time to share it.

Classic branding tools are CVs and covering letters, but in today’s world you need to communicate your brand online. Now is time to consider setting up a website, becoming a blogger, creating your online CV on LinkedIn, using Facebook, Google+,Twitter, and Youtube to communicate consistently your brand.

You can use to share your brand and control what people find when they Google you.

4. Create an engagement plan, leverage the work and monitor your activities

We all know that managing your online personal brand through social networks could be time consuming. Here are some tools that could help you to leverage your work and make things a little bit easier:

Hootsuite helps you to manage all your social media accounts from one web-based dashboard. You can schedule your post and invite multiple collaborators. Most features of this tool are free but if you want to upgrade the service, additional fees apply.

TweetDeck is another great app that helps you to schedule your tweets, monitor and manage accounts and stay up to date with alerts to new tweets.

Klout helps you measure your social media influence. It gets the data from the user social networks linked to Klout. It analyzes the size of the user’s network, the type of content and the people interaction with that content. There are other tools that have similar function such as Twentyfeet, Crowdbooster and Tweetstats.

You can select the social media channels that suit your needs. For career development, I prefer Twitter and LinkedIn, so I focus on those accounts.

5. Be careful

 Think twice! Have you ever heard the old phrase “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”? Thanks to social media, it is no longer true. What happens on the web stays on the web.

Love to see your comments and please let me know how you have benefited for Search and Social Media Marketing for international business MOOC!


Maria Camila Villa Jurado

Contact me on LinkedIn

Follow me on Twitter @Camivillaj