Updated: May 6, 2019
This article will show you 3 steps to establish yourself and your personal brand before
Personal brand is the ability to establish yourself as the go-to person for a specific skill or knowledge and someone who delivers value.
In essence, personal branding is positioning yourself as a thought leader.
Thought leaders are the go-to people in their field of expertise.
They’re trusted sources who move people by innovative ideas and also turn ideas into reality.
So, how does thought leadership actually begin?
You’re definitely not born with it? You have to build up to it.
Thought leadership begins with commitment to learning.
What do you think Richard Branson, Elon Musk and others have in common? They had an incredible desire and capacity for learning.
Think about it. Thought leaders never stop looking for ways to grow and expand. They don’t limit themselves to their own field either.
Richard Branson, for example, began with a record label and expanded his business to include many different businesses including luxury game preserve, a mobile phone company and even an airline.
I recommend 4 steps to building your personal brand and thought leadership
STEP 1: Build credibility as an expert. In other words, become a subject matter expert in your area or topic of interest. To do so, you need to educate yourself. Start by following industry blogs, news, influencers. Begin your day with reading for the first 30 minutes, to find out what’s the greatest and the latest in your area. I personally subscribe to many different publications and news. My morning always begins with skimming through them, to get caught up on what’s happening in my industry.
STEP 2: Establish your online persona and footprints. If I were to ask you to google yourself right now, what type of information will you see come up? In fact, let’s do a quick exercise.
Define what you want to be known for as an expert
Google yourself and see what people can find and read about you online actually matters as to how you want to be perceived and be known for. To establish your digital footprint, start by developing and publishing content in the form of articles, blog posts, videos and more. It used to be that people’s first impressions would be formed on the day of the interview. Now, by just simply typing in your name, people can find information before and form opinions about you, before you even walk into the door.
Have an outlet where you will share this information, such as your own website, blog or social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Youtube. Medium.com is actually another great source that I recommend. It allows you to publish articles without you having to maintain your own website. I really enjoy reading through articles that people post on there. Another thing that I recommend is to create a free website on Wix.com. But start by creating content that people would want to read. Content that is in line with the subject matter expertise that you want to deliver.
Updated LinkedIn profile: I’ll talk about it on another video but it’s really important right now to have a robust LinkedIn profile. So make sure that you optimize your LinkedIn profile to its fullest. As I said, there is another video that you can look at but make sure that you have a header, image, headshot photo, full description and interest identified in your LinkedIn profile, so that people can easily understand what type of job you’re looking for and most importantly, what type of services you are planning to deliver.
So, I just shared with you 4 things that you can start working on to establish your personal brand and your thought leadership expertise while you’re still in college but remember,
Rome wasn’t built on one day
Your personal journey to establish yourself as an expert will also take time. As with any journey, what matters here is progress. There will be many wins and there will be many failures but here is the thing, I once read that the word FAIL, if you break it down stands for First Attempt In Learning.
I love that because it couldn’t be more accurate. Your first blog post may not get any views. Your first article may not be that great but here’s the thing, what matters the most is that your making progress. In fact, to reiterate that, I want to share with you a quick video from Space X’s attempt to launch and land their rocket booster. (Check the video)
Take a look and see for yourself how many times they actually tried to launch before they succeeded and they make fun of themselves along the way. In the meantime, keep your