Why Should You Build A Professional Network?

personal brand

Here’s what the emerging technology librarian from the University of Virginia’s Claudmore Health Sciences Library has got to say about building your personal brand and connecting with your professional community and networking with peers, through a short Q & A.

Why do you think happens when you don’t have a virtual profile built up for yourself as a professional or even as a student?

Let us understand what might happen through a short analogy. Consider yourself throwing a party and getting yourself all prepped up for it, cleaning your surroundings, buying food and beverages to welcome your guests. But on the day of the party when no one turns up, you realize that you’ve forgotten to send invites to your guests letting them know that you would be throwing a party. So unless you’ve got guests, the party won’t happen inspite of being prepared from your end for the event. That’s exactly why you need to build your professional visibility online. Sharing your profile with others is like the gifts that you are willing to offer to the world. Unless the world knows about the knowledge that you are willing to share, they won’t be able to find you.

Why should we promote ourselves as a brand?

Just think of three words that could describe you as a brand based on your professional gift to the world. The most important brand value that any personal brand should represent is authenticity. Authenticity is all about believing something to be true and sticking by it consistently even when others influence you to believe in exactly the opposite. Even when others don’t really accept what you believe to be the truth, it’s important to keep up with your belief as managing and maintaining your digital presence and online reputation by representing your best self is really important. Keep this in mind before posting any content online.

Why do you think a lot of people end up in jobs that they are not really satisfied with?

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It’s because they have not presented themselves in a better way or could also because they have failed to note their mission in life. To such people, you have to frame a clear mission statement that portrays yourself, just like the three words that you’ve got yourselves figures with respect to your personal brand. These are something that you don’t have to share with anybody online; they could just be for your personal awareness. Try to share your mission statement with your most trusted close circle in the business inorder to get some feedback, this would really help you to understand if you are on the right track. Once you’ve got your mission aligned with your principles, you would now clearly have the knowledge of the kind of work you don’t wish to do. This understanding is as important as knowing what kind of work you really want to do.

Which is the best social media platform to have an online presence for professionals?

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This depends completely on your field of work and the social media platform aligning with your brand at your region or worldwide. If you are an artist or someone who creates graphics and art-related content alone then platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, or Tumblr should be your choice. The same artist could use Twitter as a fish hook to catch somebody’s attention to your art on another platform through an embedded link. You should try being on a maximum of two platforms, not more than that because the key is to stay active and it consumes a lot of time if you post on multiple platforms. Create content regularly and keep posting content by scheduling and automating them.

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