There is a huge upside to creating a personal brand that can shine on its own. The same can be said for organizations. Branding is an art form that is too important to ignore. Consumers trust brands, not the sales pitch behind it.

So how can you go about building a personal brand? These are a few places to start:

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a networking powerhouse, especially for leveraging alumni associations or other groups with which you are associated.

When recruiters analyze potential new hires, they can look at the person’s number of connections. It’s unlikely to walk into a sales job and not be using LinkedIn to your advantage. A strong network shows that you know the worth of being socially connected.

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to build a personal brand. For businesses, it’s a chance to showcase some of your best professional content, post job openings, and acquire talent.

Understand that as you market yourself, promote the best facets of your professional life only. At first glance, employers see your recommendations, endorsements, and experience.

Creative resumes

In today’s plugged-in world, there is more respect for creative resumes that come through the door. You may utilize different colors, layouts, and photos. You may even promote your own website on your resume to brand yourself. Many employers may view this as creative.

As for businesses, let your creativity shine through your social media outlets and website. Solidifying a consistent brand across your online presence will allow you to connect with potential new employees as well as establish yourself as an industry influencer.

How you develop your personal brand should speak to the industry where you most want to make an impact. Your goals should align with the image you portray. If your goal is to bring fresh and creative views, your brand should encourage creative people to apply and connect.

From both perspectives, the main thing to remember is that it’s okay to let your personality shine. Create your own brand and your own image and tailor it to what you want it to be. When you open up and let your true colors glow, that’s when consumers and employers will start trusting you as an authentic brand.

The power of personal branding reaches beyond just your target audience. The more you are able to expand and impress yourself upon others in the industry, the more you will establish yourself as an influencer and an expert.

What have you seen to be an effective method in leveraging your personal brand?  

Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your own plan.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2015 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.