by Elise Williams | Featured Contributor
You’ve no doubt heard it a million times: To succeed in your career you need an established personal brand. To get ahead, you need an online presence that represents who you are, what you do, and where you’re headed — and the most practical way to do this, according to the internet, is to build your personal brand through your social media channels.
But for those of us who’d rather devour our brunch than Instagram it, there are a few other non-social-media ways to build up your professional reputation.
1. Create an Online Portfolio
Whether you’re a writer, photographer, graphic designer, etc., one of the easiest ways to establish your personal brand is to create an online portfolio that showcases your work. Websites like WordPress or Squarespace that have pre-designed templates make it super easy for anyone to get their best work out there.
2. Attend Networking Events
Networking events are the single best place to spread brand awareness for either your company or yourself — because literally everyone at networking events is there to self-promote and see what opportunities are available to them. If you run a local business, join your city’s Chamber of Commerce and attend local events. If you run a blog, attend a cool conference like Create + Cultivate. Over at Earn Spend Live, we’re all about female empowerment — so we attend monthly networking events for local female professionals to make new connections.
Bring your business cards, throw on a blazer, and get out there and network!
3. Get Involved in Your Community
Grab a co-worker and volunteer at a local charity or animal shelter. Plan an event that puts your mission (or your company’s) front and center. The more you support your local community, the more they’ll support you.
4. Self-Promote (and Don’t Feel Bad About It)
Who else is going to give you credit for the current project you’re working on other than you? As women, we often subconsciously self-sabotage when it comes to this. We naively think that if we just work hard enough, our bosses and peers will take notice and reward us. But keep your head down and work for a couple of years and see if that actually happens. Spoiler alert: It won’t.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your professional accomplishments — to friends, to family, to your co-workers, to your network contacts you grab lunch with. Sure, you might feel slightly braggy, but you never know who might be in need of your skills in the future. And if you don’t spread the word, I repeat: Who will?
5. Just Be Yourself
As cheesy as this sounds, being your own, authentic self is enough. Don’t put too much stock into whether or not your Instagram grid has a specific “aesthetic” or whether your LinkedIn summary is too stuffy. There are a million different paths to achieve success in every career. Creating your personal brand should be unique to you and your individual journey.
Featured image via Earn Spend Live
Elise Williams, Editor and Co-Founder of Earn Spend Live
Elise co-founded Earn Spend Live, a lifestyle website devoted to helping millennial women succeed in their careers, just two years out of college…but still manages to neglect her laundry most days.
By day, she’s an editor who works with a team to build the Earn Spend Live empire and maintain its brand on all social media platforms (find us anywhere @earnspendlive), mentor editorial interns, and she squeezes in writing time when she can. By night, she’s a wine enthusiast, TV junkie, and will show you pictures of her cat if you don’t stop her (follow him on Instagram!).
She also co-hosts a podcast, EVEsdropping, where she and the other Earn Spend Live co-founder get real about all things feminism, navigating the workplace, managing your finances, and of course—TV. Check it out on iTunes!
Connect with Elise!