We live in a social-focused world. Your online reputation is more important than ever, and whether you know it or not, you’re already a personal brand that people are judging and interacting with on a daily basis. If you’re not actively working to improve your personal brand as a designer, now is the time to start.
Why You Should Care
You might be wondering why you should care about personal branding; especially if you’re working for an agency or corporation. The simple answer is that you might not work there forever, and building a solid network can even help you get ahead in your current role too. Having a solid personal brand strategy will allow you to:
- Obtain better professional opportunities;
- Position yourself as an industry thought leader;
- Land a higher-profile job;
- Start your own business with your own clients.
What You Can Do
How do you build a personal brand as a designer? The good thing is that today’s social platforms are largely visual. Platforms like Facebook, instagram, and SnapChat all get the most engagement from eye-catching imagery, and as a designer that should be your bread and butter. Use your skills to share targeted content across these platforms to increase awareness for you and your brand. The key is to grab the attention of users and let them extend your organic reach for you. The better your content, the more likely it will be shared by those who are consuming it.
If you have your own blog you should write articles about happenings within the industry; share case studies from the client work that you do; and give them insight into your creative process with behind the scenes video snippets and vlogs. All of these things are hot and audiences are hungry to consume them. Up-and-coming designers are always looking for a leg up; especially the ones that are fresh out of school and are looking for real-world experience.
By developing a solid content strategy your following will increase over time. As your following grows, so will awareness for your brand. If the right people come across you then you could be on your way to speaking at industry events, landing a book deal, or making money from an online course that showcases your creative prowess. All of these are great ways to extend your reach and put a little extra cash in your pocket. Don’t just settle for the rat race. Focus on the future and always be thinking about your next play.
No one is looking out for you but you. By building a personal brand you’re laying the foundation for your future. Take it from someone who has been there; your reputation and willingness to hustle are the only ways you get ahead in this game. And both of those things, as well as people’s perception about you, are 100% in your hands.