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If prospective employers search your name online, what will they find? What do you want them to find? This is one reason why developing your personal brand is important. Your personal brand is, according to Jeff Bezos, “what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Having a clear personal brand can be crucial in helping you to break into an industry. So how can you begin to establish your own personal brand? Let’s take a look.

How Do You Want to Be Known?
In order to define yourself, you need to decide how you want to be known. Get to know the people in your industry. Figure out how you can best meet the needs of those individuals. Provide them with information; produce content around what they want to know. That is how you will begin to establish your credibility. Look for gaps between what your competition is offering and the needs of the industry that you can step up and fill. Even if there’s a lot of competition, you can still work towards providing your solution in a distinctive way. 

Know Your Audience
Knowing your audience means understanding not just demographics, but also what your audience values. Are they more interested in making a difference or making a profit? Knowing your core audience will allow you to focus your energy on building long-term relationships with people who are the most likely to give your their business and get behind what you’re offering.

Find a Platform
Go where your audience goes online. Is your industry visual in nature? Make videos on YouTube. Is there a community that already exists on Facebook? Join it. It doesn’t matter where you start as long as you’re connecting with your audience. You don’t have to jump right in to building a website, but do get your content out there. Be consistent in developing your presence on whatever platform you choose. 

Collaborate
Look for influencers in your industry and build relationships with those individuals. Offer to collaborate with other industry thought leaders in order to build your network of followers. These individuals can provide new opportunities for growth. 

By taking these steps you can begin to establish your own personal brand. Give prospective employers a pleasant surprise when they search for you online. Creating your personal brand will allow you to establish yourself as someone who stands out in the mile high stack of resumes.