Being aware of new, effective ideas to help you develop and strengthen your personal brand can really enhance your image. William Arruda, founder of Reach Personal Branding, is a seasoned observer and resource for those wanting to create a winning personal brand and has published some of his top tips, trends and suggestions for MarketingProfs.com.
1. Photo ops abound. Once the exclusive purview of actors, models and politicians, professional photos are now popular with all who want to create or strengthen their personal brand. To achieve complementary visibility, everyone is now eligible to enter the "professional headshot fraternity."
2. Personalize your work. As the line between work and home becomes increasingly clouded, the predictions of Tom Peters and Dan Pink, that we would all be "free agents" in the future, comes closer to reality. Even hardcore corporate veterans are now one-person brand mavens, with high level personal, career-enhancing talents.
3. Create and self-publish. Online portals allow everyone to create self-published blogs, articles and updates on hot topics, company or industry news and even your own personal career highlights. Publishing posts under your byline enhances your personal brand, with readers perceiving your high-level business expertise.
4. Employ crowdsourcing. As entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and independent contractors have done for years, generating positive opinions and perceptions from others strengthens your personal brand. When possible, generate testimonials, recommendations and external reviews of your professionalism.
5. Create a personal logo. To enhance the "visual vocabulary" (author Arruda's coined phrase), design a creative personal logo for your name. While your stylized name image may not become as recognized as Oprah Winfrey's "O," having a personal logo is one of the hottest trends in personal branding.
6. Say "Goodbye" to job boards and postings. As more employers, hiring managers and recruiters turn to professional social media websites such as LinkedIn, public job postings appear to be following the dinosaurs toward extinction. Your personal brand will attract these "candidate searchers" or turn them away. Make your personal brand a recruiter magnet.
7. Create a professionally produced or DIY video. The wonders of new technologies allow you to produce a professional video at reasonable cost or create a professional-looking product yourself. A very hot trend, well-produced videos enhance personal brands effectively.
8. Employ video as a communication tool. Properly produced video works wonderfully as a contemporary communications tool to deliver information, along with displaying your personal brand. Prior roadblocks, including cost, time-consuming issues or production difficulties, no longer apply. Entertaining visual images are more effective than text alone in communicating your brand to others.
9. Emphasize content quality over quantity. Not long ago, the quantity of Web content was more important than its quality. No longer. The sheer volume of amateurish, boring content has caused readers to be more demanding and discerning. All content published under your name, relating to you or appearing on your social media pages should be of the highest quality you can create or purchase.
10. Never be unemployed. Easier said than done? Not really. As always, employers still prefer hiring people who currently have jobs. Even the massive layoff and downsizing actions of recent years haven't changed this long-standing preference. Therefore, never consider yourself as unemployed, regardless of reality. How? Volunteer for something, become a solopreneur or pursue a passionate project. Your personal brand will display you as an active, committed and highly valuable job candidate.
Just as a company's brand is more than its image, your personal brand is a combination of image, expertise, style, grace, confidence, competence and professionalism. Sure, much of brand strength is perception, but in the case of personal branding, perception is reality.
This article is, in part, sourced from: http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/6736/personal-branding-trends-for-2012-part-1; http://www.marketingprofs.com/articles/2012/6826/personal-branding-trends-for-2012-part-2.
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