Brands have traditionally been associated with large corporations, but with the proliferation of social media, most people now have their own personal brand, whether they know it or not.
Personal branding isn’t just for celebrities and creative professionals anymore. Even accounting and finance professionals now must be aware of the brand image they are communicating. Your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and other social media profiles have shaped your online personality, in effect creating your own personal brand.
Once you start thinking about your digital footprint as your own personal brand, you can start shaping it to reflect the persona you want clients, colleagues, and potential employers to see. Here are 4 steps you can take to create and shape your personal brand:
Determine your unique selling point
In order to differentiate themselves from the competition, brands consistently highlight their unique selling point (USP) in their marketing and advertisements. A USP can be any perceived benefit that sets you apart, like friendly service or convenience. For example, Prada sells luxury, while Old Navy sells bargain pricing. They both sell clothes, but each has their own USP that caters to different audiences.
The first step in cultivating your personal brand is to determine your USP. What makes you stand out from other accounting or finance professionals? What unique skills do you have that set you apart from others in your field? Your USP should tell potential employers or prospective clients what benefit they will gain from working with you. Once you determine your USP, you can start crafting your message around it.
Build Your Online Presence
Just like any corporate brand, your personal brand needs to have a strong online presence. As an accounting and finance professional, the cornerstone of your online strategy should be a robust LinkedIn page. Whereas Instagram might be the main place for a creative professional to showcase their personal brand, LinkedIn should be where those in more traditional and professional industries focus their personal brand cultivation.
Take some time to bolster your LinkedIn profile by including detailed information about your skills and experience along with an About section that lets your personality and personal brand shine through.
Speaking of social media, take some time to audit all of your social media pages. Do your social profiles project the brand image you wish to cultivate? Be sure that your social media pages reflect your USP.
In order to maintain a strong personal brand, you need to be seen as an authority in your space. To establish yourself as the go to expert for your industry, it’s imperative that you keep your skills sharp and constantly increase your trade knowledge. That means proactively keeping up with industry trends and learning new techniques. Professional development will help you stay relevant and keep your brand strong.
Spread Your Knowledge
As you determine your USP and continually develop your skills, you need to share your knowledge with potential employers and clients. Continuously creating useful content and sharing it on your social media pages with help to establish you and your brand as a thought leader in your industry. To increase your audience, contact similar blogs in your space and offer to write a guest blog post. Or you could publish content on Medium or create your own blog.
Speaking engagements are another way for you to spread your knowledge and increase your authority in your space. This is your opportunity to be heard by a brand new audience. It will take time to break into the world of public speaking, but as you increasingly speak to bigger audiences, you will drive more traffic to your social pages and increase the strength of your personal brand.
It’s clear that brands are no longer relegated to the corporate world. You need to create a personal brand to help sell yourself to potential clients and employers. To begin creating your brand, follow these four steps.
Find Accounting & Finance Jobs
Are you ready to showcase your personal brand to potential employers? Content Burchard & Associates. We work with accounting & finance professionals in the St. Louis area, helping them find the next step in their careers. Check out our available career opportunities or contact us today to learn how we can help you.