It's not about the amount of Twitter or Instagram followers you have, it's what people think of when they hear your name.
What you stand for and represent speaks for you. When you hear "Tony Robbins," motivational speaking likely comes to mind. Images of Gillian Anderson or Mari Windsor are triggered with the words "exercise maven." Vogue's Anna Wintour fiercely dominates all verbiage surrounding fashion. If you're looking to cultivate your own personal brand, you must ask yourself if what you are currently doing with your life and work acts as a personal calling card.
A good example of someone who has created a personal brand is Sarah Bowmar. Along with her husband, Josh, they've created workout guides, protein supplements, and other products while also adhering to a diet of wild game they bowhunt themselves. By sticking to their lifestyle choices and not caving to outside influence, they succeed in personal branding by just being authentic and their business grew because of it.
If you're not sure how to create a personal brand, give our list of suggestions below a look and see how you can tailor an image that suits you best.
1. Stick to what you're good at and let people know you're willing to help them.
I am terrible at math. Me pretending to be good at it is laughable. You are completely SOL if you want my help with Algebra homework. I am, however, a proud holder of an English and Creative Writing degree, a published author, and a person people know to come to when they need an important email proofread. It's not just my credentials or my career that speak for me, I also let literary-challenged folk know I'm in their corner.
2. Get to know others in your realm of expertise.
Don't be afraid to join clubs or organizations that bring people with similar interests and talents together. Building a supportive network lets you hone your skills and gets your name out there as someone who can get the job done or be used as counsel.
3. Think about your own personal mission statement and commit to it.
Believe it or not, when you stand for something, people pay attention. Whether it's keeping business closed on Sunday because you adhere to your faith's day of rest, only using locally-sourced goods, or refusing to test your products on animals, the public will pay attention.
4. Know your audience.
If you're a well-known female biologist, it's likely that you not only have the attention of those in your field but also future female STEM students. Should you step outside of the lab and decide to create a website, host speaking engagements, or use social media, keep your content tailored to those that look to you as a leader. It may not seem like much, but efforts like this do not go unnoticed—especially for a girl who wants to know what success in science looks like.
5. Get ready for your close-up!
Most content is best served through video. Whether it's a how-to, a live Q&A, unboxing, or discussing hot-button topics that matter to your industry, uploading a video of yourself to your Instagram or YouTube account gets your message out there and engages your audience.
Have any other tips on how to create a personal brand? Sound off in the comments below.