Before the internet really hit its stride, personal branding was mainly an in-person exercise. Back then, building your own personal brand meant carefully shaping a “real-world” persona while continually reinforcing that image through traditional marketing channels (print, TV, radio, etc.), a painstaking journey that sometimes took years and countless resources.

Now, personal branding is virtually unrecognizable from its pre-internet heyday, a far cry from the slow-traveling press releases, overplanned interview sessions, and cookie-cutter merchandising rollouts of the past. Sure, those features still exist, but only as small pieces of a fast-moving, always-changing digital branding puzzle.

These days, digital assets like blogs, social media profiles, and even Google search results play an outsized role in any successful personal branding strategy. And for better or worse, mastering those channels and ensuring they sync up with conventional branding tools is key to creating the right personal brand for you.

Building a strong personal brand in 2022 takes not only a bit of online know-how but the ability to combine the traditional with the digital to achieve your personal branding goals. Here’s a look at 5 must-haves your branding strategy needs to maximize impact and long-term success.

1. A Clear Objective

Why is personal branding important to you?

What does a successful personal brand look like?

Everyone has unique goals when it comes to personal branding. Whether it’s launching a new company, earning a leadership position, attracting more investors, or simply sharing your expertise, clearly defining your personal brand objectives beforehand is key to a successful branding strategy.

Doing so provides the short- and long-term targets you’re aiming for while keeping your efforts always focused on the end game.

Before outlining your strategy, be sure to whittle down five or ten clear goals your personal brand should achieve. Keep these objectives at the forefront of each branding decision you make along the way; when you hit a crossroads, referring back to these goals can help reorient your efforts and provide the clarity that keeps your approach on the right track.

2. A Compelling Story

When it comes to personal branding, nothing strikes a chord with audiences like a good story. Personal brands built around a strong narrative showcasing your ideas, skills, and experiences provide a level of personality and relatability that people can connect with.

Videos, blogs, guest posts, and topical threads on social media platforms are all great ways to share and shape your brand narrative. For example, writing a blog post about what inspired you to choose your field may provide the perfect foundation for videos on what you’ve learned along the way.

You can then complement that content with shares across your social media sites like Linkedin on what inspired you to join your company. These details fill in narrative gaps while outlining your personal belief in what you sell and what you do.

The web offers infinite opportunities to leverage storytelling to your personal branding advantage. And once you discover how to share that journey in relatable, compelling ways, you develop an emotional connection that engenders trust and credibility among your target audience.

3. A Strong Presence on LinkedIn

Looking to climb the corporate ladder or simply elevate your leadership profile? Effective self-branding aimed at advancing your career or expertise won’t survive long without a compelling LinkedIn presence at the center. That makes an optimized, detailed Linkedin profile an absolute must-have in your personal branding strategy.

Tweaking a few key elements can help transform your LinkedIn into a powerful, even magnetic branding tool that anchors your brand-building efforts across the web:

Profile image

Your profile picture is typically the first thing people see when researching your brand on LinkedIn. Choosing a high-quality picture that spotlights you in a brand-appropriate way ensures you’re always making a great first impression.

Headline

Anyone can list their job title and company at the top of their profile. But the best personal brand examples do a bit more, inserting a snappy tagline or mission statement to ramp things up and leave a lasting brand imprint on the LinkedIn audience.

Professional summary

A strong summary statement that highlights your industry expertise, significant accomplishments, and unique value add makes your personal brand easy to identify with and understand. Adding contact details and a ‘soft’ call to action can also encourage interaction while strengthening the audience connection.

Graphics and photos

Inserting captivating visual elements into your LinkedIn gallery reinforces key features and associations with your brand. It can also be an excellent opportunity to reach a larger target audience.

4. An Eye for SEO

Personal branding can’t happen nowadays if no one can find you online. To get the word out and get your brand the virtual sunlight it needs to thrive, it’s crucial to have at least a minimal grasp of search engine optimization (SEO), the art of creating content for maximum online visibility.

SEO gives your online profiles, blogs, guest posts, and social media accounts the “ranking juice” needed to show up in search results, especially for the critical phrases you want people to associate with your personal brand.

For instance, a senior executive may want to identify industry (manufacturing), position (CMO), and achievement (maximized productivity) keywords others may use when searching for similar professionals. Once those phrases are identified, that executive can build branding content centered on those phrases, creating articles, blogs, and social posts more likely to rank in search and provide a competitive advantage.

Keyword research and inclusion are essential for individuals creating personal brands online, but they’re also just the tip of the iceberg. Other SEO best practices like content formatting, backlinking, metadata optimization, following SEO trends, and maintaining consistent activity on popular social media channels are also critical for creating a personal brand that gets noticed across the right digital touchpoints.

The best personal brands don’t just develop quality content. They understand and utilize the power of SEO to spread the news, get more views, and establish brand identity on the web.

5. An Active Online Presence

Building a personal brand isn’t a one-and-done process. After developing online profiles, social accounts, a blog page, and other optimized assets (perhaps even a YouTube channel), it’s time to map out a content creation schedule. This plan keeps your personal brand on track, providing the framework to create content regularly and ensure you’re always top of mind among followers, colleagues, potential customers, and others in your field.

Regularly posting blogs and updating your social channels keeps your expertise at the forefront. It provides the ongoing activity your online presence needs to stay visible, relevant, and influential in your industry and across search results.

Additionally, managing a consistent posting schedule strengthens your personal brand credentials, creating a web of supportive content that continually reinforces your credibility, skillset, influence, and brand voice. Over time, this engenders and solidifies your authority among followers while solidifying your position as thought leader in your field.

With personal brand maintenance, consistency and moderation are key. On the one hand, it’s crucial to ensure each social post, guest blog, and piece of long-form content reflects your expertise, values, and voice.

On the other hand, it’s important to moderate your output and avoid overdoing it. Touting your professional success is ok, but it’s best to avoid self-brand advertisements that seem too salesy or aggressive. In the long run, such self-aggrandizement can actually end up undermining a successful brand, hurting public perception, and damaging your public persona.

Need Help with Personal Branding?

Whether you’re building a career or growing a business, our team provides the customized personal branding solutions you need to set yourself apart and achieve a decisive competitive advantage online. We position you for maximum online impact through SEO and content development expertise, ensuring your personal brand has the reach, relevance, and authority to realize your long-term goals.

Reach out to our digital branding team today to learn more.

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