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Personal Branding is crucial for every professional

All those things that you are,everything you do in your workplace and in your life, everything that you represent on your internet print, are your own trademark.

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By Sofia Banagi

What is Your Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and attitude, that you want the world to see on you. It is a storytelling, by your conduct, behavior, spoken and unspoken words.

In the pre-internet days, your personal brand was just your business card and some references from people that worked with you before. In today’s highly public world, where everything you do is shared and discussed on social media, you can't be anonymous anymore.


Why Would You Want a Personal Brand?
Your personal brand can be highly important to you professionally. It is how you present yourself to suspects and prospects. It gives you the chance to present yourself in the way you want to.

It gives you the opportunity to highlight your strengths and your skills. It helps people see you again and again. People have much higher trust in those they feel they know; even people they have never met personally.

It is true that recently, personal branding has become an imperative necessity in the business world and not only.
Many universities in Europe today as well as in Greece, have specialized some courses on personal branding.
It is observed that even businesses are asking their executives to have a unique and authentic image. The reason is that jobs are managed by people. Contracts are signed by people.
Trust and admiration are elements that drive a customer to co-operate with us , and that's because what we present outwardly, makes a very good impression.

Remember to ask yourself Why do they have to choose me? How do I differ from the competition?

Creating your branding takes time and targeted actions. 
People no longer want more information or products. They want truth, trust and authenticity.
This requires self-knowledge and psychological work with ourselves. Being human, with the same issues and problems as your target market is what makes other people fell closer to you. The only difference is that you can show them that you have found a solution to some or all of these problems which you are willing to share with them.

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Things you can do right now, to start creating your personal brand

1. Start thinking of yourself as a brand

What do you wish for people to associate with you when they think of your name?Is there a certain subject in which you want to be perceived as an expert? Once you understand how you wish your brand to be perceived, you can start to be much more strategic about your personal brand.

 2. Create a personal website

Having a personal website for yourself is one of the best ways to rank your name on the search engines. It doesn’t need to be something huge. It can be a simple two or three page site with your resume, link to your social platforms, and a brief bio. You can always expand on the website in the future.

3. Create a personal Blog and share helpful content

Platforms like WordPress and Joomla make it easier than ever to promote yourself to your target audience.Commit to posting a couple of times a week on topics that your audience will find interesting and educational, but that also highlight your unique skills and experience.

4. Find out how others see you

Ask trusted colleagues, co-workers, and friends to write a recommendation about you.What are you good at? What are your strengths? In which areas do they view you as "irreplaceable?"

 5. Identify your target audience

Just like a hospitality professional knows that their target audience is HR Managers, you need to define to whom you want to send your message.

6. Set your priorities

You're probably used to putting yourself behind your company.You still want to be loyal to these groups, but prioritize yourself so be loyal to yourself, first.

 7. Pay attention to the details

Everything you do ultimately contributes to your personal brand.Once your brand has been defined, make sure that the little things -- the way you act in social networks, your language, how you behave with the commenters, the emails you write -- are consistent with your brand message.

8. Update your resume

Go through your resume to determine if it fits  with your brand.Ensure that your resume accurately defines who you are, and is in line with both your short-term and long-term goals. If you feel that you have to hide something or to moderate some details, it’s not so bad. Just do it.

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 9. Become a social networker

Set up accounts at social networking sites such as Linkedin and Twitter. Ask those in your target audience to subscribe to your pages, and update on a daily basis.Make sure your updates are relevant to your branding message.

10. Tend to your network

Be sure to keep co-workers, colleagues, clients, and friends updated about what you are doing.Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and what the people in your network say about you will ultimately have an effect on your brand.

11. Ask the assistance of a specialist
If you hire a Personal Branding Coach, you will  receive valuable training and mentoring.You will identify how others perceive your brand.You will discover how to create and share content with your network. You will learn how to show to the entire audience that you are an industry expert. A personal branding coach can also help you leverage your expertise by helping you figure out your most marketable skills and how to integrate them into your personal brand.


Conclusion
If you want to be successful, creating a personal brand isn't just an option, it's a necessity.Whether you aspire to get a promotion or find a better job, creating a compelling and consistent brand will help you meet your goals.

Even individuals need to develop a brand for themselves …. Whatever is your area of expertise, you can take steps to make people think of YOU when they think of your field.
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Sofia Banagi is a coach, specialized on Executive Personal Branding & Corporate Coaching. She coaches intensively, all individuals that want to improve their professional image. She also deals with whole organizations, creating special programs, aimed at executives as well as staff. Additionally she is a lecturer at IST College. Read more about her at www.sofiabanagi.gralert-info


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