Looking for an edge in a competitive hiring environment? Personal branding is one way to stand out from others.
Now we're not saying you should design a logo for yourself (although you can). Instead, we're talking about building name recognition by establishing credentials as an expert in your field and sharing your expertise with others.
There are a variety of ways to get started, like speaking at conferences, but online information sharing, on social media and through other channels, is a tried-and-true path to quickly build your brand and connect to others in your field.
Benefits of a Personal Brand
According to J.T. O'Donnell of Work It Daily, a personal brand is your personal reputation and how it is portrayed to your industry peers and potential employers. Just like a company has a brand, it’s important for people to have a brand, too. It’s the look, feel, voice, and reputation of who you are as a person and professional.
Here are a few reasons why building a personal brand is important:
- Create trust and authority in your industry
- Become a top influencer in your field
- Share your industry knowledge and expertise
- Showcase your value more effectively to employers
- Connect with colleagues, potential employers, and mentors
So what are the building blocks of a personal brand? Let’s dive in.
How To Build An Online, Personal Brand
What shows up in Google search when you type in your name?
Think of the first page of results as your personal brand. Do you like what you see?
Luckily, you can control these results by building an online, personal brand. Here are a few digital assets you’ll want to create:
- Personal Website: You don’t need a multi-page website, but it’s a great idea to purchase and own the domain of your full name. This way you literally own this digital real estate associated with your name. Your website can include information about you, your expertise in the healthcare IT industry, your resume, and a contact form so potential employers can easily connect with you.
- Blog: Many industry experts and influencers create a blog on their website so they can share their personal opinion and industry insights. If you are an Epic or Cerner expert, this is a great opportunity to share best practices, technical tips, and industry know-how with others in your network.
- Social Media: Social media profiles are crucial to your online personal brand. At the very least, create a Twitter and LinkedIn profile. Social media profiles also rank on search engines so keeping active profiles with regular updates will allow you to give potential employers and others in the industry a look into who you are as a professional.
- Join the Conversation: If you write blog posts, you’ll want to share these on your social media pages. You can also share industry articles, trends, and opinions. But sharing valuable content and insights is half the battle. It’s crucial to engage with other individuals in the healthcare IT industry, especially on Twitter and LinkedIn. Follow other influencers and industry leaders to respond to their tweets and posts. You can also identify conversations on Twitter by following hashtags like #HealthIT or joining Twitter Chats. Twitter is a great place to join the conversation at annual conferences, such as HIMSS and Epic UGM.
- Be Authentic: Your online brand should reflect who you are as a person — in-person! Use an updated and professional headshot photo and speak online in a professional yet natural manner. Your online persona should match who and how you are in real life.
One of our partners, Sue Schade of StarBridge Advisors, has developed an excellent personal brand over the years. Not only is she associated with StarBridge Advisors, Sue writes a highly-regarded and often referenced blog that is republished on Healthcare IT News. She hosts this blog under her website — www.sueschade.com.
Sue is also very active on Twitter and LinkedIn and contributes valuable and insightful information and advice online to the healthcare IT industry.
Building a strong personal brand online will take time but the first step is to get started!