I used to roll my eyes when people talked about building a personal brand. Images of Kardashians bounced through my head. I was wrong ... mostly. You don't need to become the next YouTube star or post Instagram selfies, but you do need to develop a reputation as a leader in your field. In the long run, as I have come to realize, this will pay dividends for you in job search, salary and your ability to get things done at work.
The thing about building a brand is that it takes a really long time. You have to start now, keep at it, and then one day, a year or so from now, you'll see some results. Its hard to do because it involves a lot of up front investment (in time) before you see a return. You should do it anyways.
Here are a few quick tips for building a personal brand without becoming a Kardashian.
1. Start a professional blog
A big reason I've gotten my last two jobs was that my prospective employers visited my blog and could see I was a true expert in my field. This can mean the difference between landing your dream job and not. Even if you're at the beginning stages of your career, trust me ... start blogging about it. You'll be shocked at how quickly you can get a following and start building up a strong professional brand. Blog about your profession, about the discipline you're passionate about. It presents you as a thought leader which has real value.
2. Fix your LinkedIn profile and get active on social
At the very least you need to invest some time in your LinkedIn profile. Its where all recruiting happens now. If you're waiting until you're in a job search to update it, you're making a mistake. Fix it now. I also highly recommend getting active on Twitter or in LinkedIn groups for your profession. I realize can feel like a burden, especially when you're busy, but its worth it. Start tweeting once a day -- follow some popular people and hashtags for your profession and retweet some stuff. And keep at it. It will pay off.
3. Teach something
This is a great one. There are so many awesome platforms now including teachable, udemy, coursera, youtube and others. Teaching something related to your profession is an excellent way to present yourself as an expert and leader. It also forces you to brush up on your skills, which in and of itself has benefit. Post something, teach something, give advice. You'll be happy you did.
If you want to see the tools I use to build my own personal/professional brand, you can check them out here.