Personal branding. Many of us have heard of it, but what actually is it? It is a way of branding yourself and your personality by discussing topics you are passionate about. Put simply it’s the way you promote yourself by sharing your interests, passions, skills etc.
Personal brands are often pushed to one side and deemed unimportant when compared with other day-to-day tasks someone may have as part of their role, but it is actually one of the best ways to build trust between you and your candidates/clients as an executive recruiter. No matter what you do, you already have a personal brand. The tweets you sent out years ago add to your personal brand; things people have said about you add to your personal brand. So it is already out there, which makes it even more important to create a narrative for your personal brand yourself. No one wants to be remembered for the social media posts they put out years ago.
With only 1% of users on LinkedIn actually posting, building your personal brand is an excellent way of getting noticed and standing out from the crowd. Growing your personal brand grows your unique value proposition, something candidates and clients will look for and help them decide why you over the hundreds of other recruiters.
Authentic posts about topics that matter to you build trust and add value. Recruiters tend to have a particular reputation that has been tainted by the few recruiters who aren’t trusted; however, your personal brand can help dispel this potential concern. Forget trying to sell your services; all you have to do is show your personality. Clients and candidates want to know who is behind the recruiter title. Can they trust you with their future job prospects? Connecting with people is one of the most important things you can do to help your career.
As an employee, your audience will be 24 times more likely to reshare and trust your content than your company’s content. This is an invaluable benefit as your posts act as user-generated marketing for your company, bringing more traffic to your website. Growing your personal brand will build your credibility as an executive recruiter.
It’s all well and good knowing why a personal brand is invaluable, but how are you meant to go about growing yours?
1. Spend some time getting to know your audience and their wants and needs.
Audiences need different things and different ways of receiving information. What resonates with your audience the most and adds value to their lives (and their LinkedIn feed)? Some may resonate with humorous posts, whereas others may prefer factual, to-the-point posts. Take time to understand what is needed and work to deliver this.
2. Network, you can never do too much!
Networking and engaging on other posts is another great way to build trust and gain credibility. Not only does this help you build relationships with potential candidates and clients, but it also increases your visibility to those who may not have heard of you or your company before. Content doesn’t have to be mind-blowing; a great way to ensure you meet needs and stay relevant is by sharing and answering FAQs that have come up when talking to your candidates and clients. At the end of the day, you want to be helping solve any issues people may have.
3. Show who you are.
The common misconception surrounding LinkedIn is that it is purely for professional personas. This couldn’t be more wrong. LinkedIn is increasingly becoming a place where both professional and personal posts are being shared. More and more people are sharing stories and images of their families, hobbies, etc. This is something that shouldn’t be shied away from. Sharing information about topics not necessarily work-related help build and strengthen the trust you have between clients and candidates.
4. Consider content pillars.
Content pillars are a great way of refining your personal brand by clarifying what you will be discussing. These should be topics you are passionate about and broad enough to break down and create individual posts from. A good way of thinking of these is each content pillar is a TV program and within those are the different episodes (individual posts). Content pillars can decrease the time spent figuring out what you will post about and enable your audience to know precisely what they will find when visiting your profile.
Personal brands are invaluable (and pretty easy once you’ve got the hang of them). Just be authentic, write about topics you are passionate about (because if you are passionate about them, others will be too), and network with others. You are aiming to build trust and credibility, and what better way can you do that than being yourself and sharing your passions?