It seems to me that not many people within tech are taking ownership of their personal brand. Building your personal brand doesn’t mean you have to spend countless hours cultivating it (well not all at once). It can consist of simply updating your website when you are speaking at an event, blogging or tweeting about a particular topic that resonates with your brand or advertising your skills.
How useful are your skills if no one knows about them? For what do you want to be known? If there is a particular area at which you specialize, amplify it. Make it public knowledge; be deliberate about it. If you are looking for a job, you are in a much better position if future employers come to you. Take advantage of your uniqueness — show it. It may resonate with a group of people.
If you don’t manage your brand, one will be created for you. Most of us already have a digital footprint — it’s just a sign of the times. That is not to say that one cannot be stealthy and remain somewhat off the grid. But as for the majority of us, our online presence is being captured, cached and analyzed.
Here are a few quick tips to get you going on building your personal brand:
Identify a domain for which you’d like to be known.
Is there a particular topic for which all your family and friends call you? If so, you are known among your circle as being knowledgeable in that area. If they trust you enough to use you as their subject matter expert, well so may others — if they only knew about you!
Be strategic about your message and affiliations.
If you are a subject matter expert in XYZ, think about how you can help others with the skills you have and connect with larger brands to catapult yours.
Create a personal website.
It can be as simple as a bio, listing your skill-set, how to get in touch and links to your social channels. Place your website URL in your email signature, on your LinkedIn and Twitter pages. This will drive more traffic to your site and also tailor the results of Google search queries that include your name.
Be active in your domain.
Share your story, tips, experiences, provide mentorship (if possible), create cool products, etc.
Be consistent — this is your brand after all.
If you decide to start blogging, set up an interval at which you’ll release new posts. People will grow to expect your content and you’ll build an audience.
Know your search results.
Google yourself from time to time and set up Google alerts for your name and/or business. If your top results are not to your liking, make strides to change that. Drive more traffic to your website, and get Google to remove old content that you feel does not effectively represent you.
Once you start building your personal brand, you’ll be in awe at what comes your way. However, building your brand is not a one-time task. It’s a continuous process, and you make it part of your personal development cycle.
Happy brand building!
Quiessence is an information security professional with over seven years of experience within the financial industry. She is also the co-founder of Urban Tech Alliance, creator of the Girltechie Campaign, and a workshop series called SecurEd. Quiessence gravitated to technology at an early age and has been captivated ever since.