Have you ever found yourself reading through the reviews of mobile applications from other users before downloading them? This is exactly how personal branding works. When it is correctly done, your target audience will become interested and fascinated by what others have to say about you.
As a personal branding professional, Faari Akinola often works with qualified professionals. In this article, she talks about tips she shares with career professionals who ask her how they can strengthen their personal brand.
People Trust With Their Heart and Not Their Heads
When building a personal brand, you have to sell yourself. You need to sell your skills! Believe it or not, we make brand decisions from the point of view of others. In Psychology, It’s referred to as social proof; a phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect behaviour for a given situation.
Some unadvertised jobs/opportunities will be offered to you simply because someone has recommended your work.
Personal Branding Validates Your Claim
When people share how they feel working with you, your claim of intelligence and expertise in a certain field seems more justified as opposed to you singing your own praise.
Personal Branding Keeps You On Your Toes
All brands are keen on getting better reviews. Same applies to you. When building your personal brand, you will find yourself working to serve people better so that your recommendations become better. Reading personal branding books is another way to ensure you are moving in the right direction. Always strive to get better.
This brings us to the point where we ask, how do you go about getting these recommendations and positive reviews? Here are some hints:
1. When to ask for Recommendation
I always advise people to ask for recommendations when they have just completed a project/an assignment or reached a major milestone at work. This is because the impact is fresh and you can get better recommendations based on your part on the success and completion of the project. It’s ok and polite to ask within the first 2 weeks after the project has ended.
2. How to get Recommendations as a Professional?
Just ask! However, how you ask also matters in the equation of getting a believable and genuine recommendation. There has to be a deliberate focus on a specific aspect of your whole skilled self.
Say you want to promote yourself as a project manager or as a software developer, what you are asking must be tailored to that, otherwise, you would get a generic recommendation that doesn’t strike a chord other than filling space.
I created a template that works for me based on research and you would like to use it too.
3. Where to place your recommendation?
On social media platforms especially those that career professionals like you use? You can also add your recommendations as reviews on your personal website, industry boards, Facebook and most importantly, LinkedIn.
4. Why You Should Give Recommendations
It’s not all about receiving recommendations. You should also give recommendations. Besides the fact that it is a form of good karma, you also benefit professionally by becoming visible on the page of the recommended. This helps the search engines find you easily.
It’s similar to the same power of attention you get when you troll someone on social media page – People seek undue attention for something unnecessary, why not put the same attention on something relevant. A great review makes your reviewer pique the interest of others reading the reviews.
5. What to write in a Great Recommendation
Be Genuine and Sincere. This has been my motto on this journey of personal branding as a professional. Do not give generic recommendations. A good example of this is to write something like “Chidinma is a hardworking professional.” This is way too basic. Apply the same tactic from how you ask; tailor the recommendation to a specific aspect of the receiver’s skill set to make it relevant.
6. Personal Branding Don’ts
When building your brand, there are rules you should adhere to. They will ensure that you receive optimal results.
Never recommend people you haven’t worked with personally: This would be like giving a review for a product you haven’t used before – makes you a fraud really.
Do not give lame recommendations: It sends a wrong message about who you are as a professional.
Giving and receiving are great ways to leverage your professional story with respect to where you have been and what you have done.
When you recommend others, you get eyeballs on your profile. It is also a great way to sell your skills and personal brand without the nauseous feeling of bragging. Which of these tips have you tried?