Did someone say, “new year, new me”?
In the spirit of new beginnings, there’s no better time to rethink your personal brand than at the start of the year.
Freelancers and independent creatives know that to build a business in our modern times, it’s essential to have a strong personal brand.
We’re way past the days of brand building being exclusive to big companies — if you’re online (or even offline), you have a brand. And when you run a business, whether you’re solo or manage a studio, your personal brand reflects your business. It’s up to you to create the brand that you want to be recognized for.
Whether you’re searching for a new direction or just want to refine how you show up in the world, here are four ways you can rethink your personal brand in 2022.
Get creative with how you show up online
If you’ve been building your personal brand online for a while now, you’re likely active on the go-to platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. You’ve probably also experimented with thought leadership content by posting Twitter threads or hot takes on LinkedIn.
While there’s nothing wrong with these methods — especially when you’re just getting started with building your personal brand — consider expanding your expertise beyond these platforms if you want to shake up how you show up online.
Create YouTube videos, start a podcast, launch a newsletter, maybe even post content on TikTok if it makes sense. Get creative with how you can share your story, voice, and advice on different channels and through new content formats. Your message may resonate with a new audience or it could be an opportunity to reach your dream clients.
Consistency isn’t reserved for how often you post online. While it is important to stick to a posting frequency when it comes to creating content for your personal brand, there are other ways to exercise consistency.
Consistency in your personal brand means showing up in ways that people expect of you. If you stand by certain values, then the actions you take should reflect those values. Consistency is the key to success in many endeavors, and your personal brand is no exception.
Make an effort to expand your virtual network
When was the last time you attended an in-person networking event? Due to the pandemic, we’re guessing it’s been a few years. While those events may still exist, independent creatives are increasingly finding their community online. And for good reason. It’s easier than ever to find and connect with people all over the world who are doing similar work as you or understand what it’s like to build a creative business.
In 2022, commit to expanding your virtual network in an effort to grow your personal brand. Join Twitter conversations, engage on Slack groups and Facebook groups, send a cold DM, and connect with people you admire on LinkedIn. The key to expanding your network is to be genuine with the way you engage, connect, and participate. You want to leave a lasting impression that gives people a sense of your personal brand and expertise.
Gone are the days of showing up as the serious, buttoned-up CEO.
Freelancing or running a creative studio comes with incredible highs and equally memorable lows. Being open and vulnerable about these challenges and experiences not only makes you more relatable and genuine, but it lets other people get a glimpse into who you are as a business owner *and* a person.
While it’s important to be real and transparent when building your personal brand, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to share every bit of your personal life. Your personal brand can be about sharing what you value as a business owner, how you manage work-life balance, or your views on pay transparency.
What are some ways you plan to rethink your personal brand in 2022? Join our Slack community to share your ideas.