I Am An Expat. Why Should I Build My Personal Brand?

A couple of years ago, I moved to London and had to make a fresh start in my professional career. It got me thinking about my personal brand in the professional context. What should I do, and why make myself stand out from the competition in the job market?

I am a firm believer that branding yourself online in a proper trajectory contributes significantly to the growth of your credibility, career progress, and perceived thought leadership. It is especially relevant if you are eager to establish a strong personal brand in a foreign country. Whether you think of yourself as a product or service that you want to sell to the potential employer or a business partner, or wish to make yourself known for your skills and expertise, you will face much bigger competition in the international arena. With a solid personal brand, you will overcome certain challenges much easier. 

Below, I’m sharing 6 biggest benefits of having a strong personal brand as an expat. 

  1. Build your credibility on the international level. While living in a foreign country, the circle of your contacts broadens over time. While some of those contacts will be the nationals of your country of residence, many of them will be foreigners like you. Strengthening your personal brand in front of professionals from different countries and continents builds your credibility on a much broader spectrum. 
  1. Double publicity opportunities. Strengthening your personal brand through consistent communication about your area of expertise contributes significantly to the development of your image as a thought leader. When you are doing it abroad and consistently, you are on the right track to get spotted by the local press. The recognition of your competencies abroad is likely to trigger the curiosity of your home country press. Therefore, if you have things to share, do not hesitate to do it beyond social media networks and approach the media. 
  1. Form an international network. I’m sure you have heard the saying, “Your network is your net worth.” In fact, Pole Gale wrote an entire book about it. Investing in your social capital is one of the most important assets you can ever own, and you can build it through personal branding. Consistent communication online increases your visibility among people from different countries while simultaneously attracting even more people interested in the content you create. This, in return, can lead to international collaborations, grow your status, and increase your value potential in the future. 
  1. Thought leadership. Establishing and working on your professional persona online will help you consolidate your reputation, earn respect and trust in your international network, and form solid relationships. Finding more opportunities to engage with other people’s content, sharing valuable posts or articles that could interest your key stakeholders will help you become the go-to expert in your industry. It will not only help you climb the career ladder faster but also open much more business opportunities. 
  1. Boost self-confidence. The process of personal branding gives you self-confidence because you are in control of your path and can shape the way you are perceived. Moreover, it gives you a competitive advantage within the international market while competing with other industry professionals from all over the world. Having clear established values, knowing what you stand for, and having a hard look at yourself creates a much stronger image.
  1. Better career opportunities at home. Considering everything stated above, you will have many advantages while competing with local industry peers if you decide to return to your home country. International job experience, a broad network, and more confidence will differentiate you from the competition. Whether you plan to come back to your homeland or not, a strong personal brand will open more career doors.

To sum up, building a strong personal brand internationally will boost your self-confidence level as you will get a better understanding of yourself, increase your presence and visibility as a professional, will give you a much clearer focus on your international career, and will help you distinguish yourself from the competition. Building a strong personal brand online while abroad is even more crucial because you are competing with a highly competitive talent pool. You must position yourself using those strengths and qualities which will help you to stand out.