Posted by Lisa Amstutz on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 - 00:00 | Follow me
Not long ago, colleagues and potential employers had only two primary ways of knowing you: your resume and references. However, the widespread use of social media, blogs and other forms of online communication have made it possible for many people to create a reputation for themselves as well as market their image in the same manner as major corporations. In some cases, building a professional brand has almost become a necessity, as employers often have easy access to your career history, notable projects and connections.
You may not have a team of marketing agents at your disposal to craft your image in the finance and accounting field, but establishing your professional brand can be as easy as following a few steps:
Define your brand
Figuring out who you want to be is at times a difficult task. Even still, doing so is essential for effectively branding yourself. Consider some adjectives — such as reliable, accessible or innovative — that fit the persona you want your professional connections to see. Then, consider your expertise. Instead of portraying yourself as a jack of all trades, showing proficiency in a specific area is best for consistency.
Even with those considerations, don’t feel the need to be too rigid. Personality is as important as professionalism.
Technology has become a key way people network today. In addition to meeting new people in person and handing out business cards, build connections through social media sites like LinkedIn and even Facebook in some cases. With your accomplishments and recommendations listed in these online profiles, any new colleagues can have access to your career success. Additionally, they know how to direct their connections to your professional brand.
In that same vein, establish your online presence. Make use of the aforementioned sites or even purchase your own domain under your name, such as janesmith.com. If your professional connections run an online search on your name, they can be directed to your site. Make sure all of your online profiles are professional, including all of the photos you post.
One way to find effective ways to build a professional brand for yourself is to check out the techniques utilized by colleagues who have already achieved the goals you want. Look at the ways they have established a presence and see what can work for your image.
What have you done to build your professional brand? Let us know in the comments below.