There has been a lot of talk about "personal branding" in recent years. Some people found the subject to be confusing or simply irrelevant. Others have embraced the concept, worked hard to develop their own personal brands, and achieved great success. There are even personal branding certification courses, such as William Arruda's "Reach Program."
As a career coach, I am most interested in what personal branding can do for the careers of my clients. In a highly competitive job market, I've discovered that having a compelling personal brand can be a distinct advantage. Personal branding also gives my clients an extra dimension of focus, clarity, and purpose, all of which improves their career management outcomes.
I've been thinking about personal branding since it first entered our business vocabulary. Although I am not an expert on personal branding, I have developed the following points for your consideration. I've also included some questions for you to consider below, in the hopes that they'll help you develop your own personal brand.
What exactly is "personal branding," and what are the advantages?
The term "brand" is closely associated with terms such as "reputation" and "presence." Personal branding is the process of creating the desired perception of yourself in the minds of others. Ideally, having a brand means that you have a recognized "voice" in your field, that you know "what you're about," and that you know where you're going. In resume writing, for example, the "branding statement" at the top of the document states exactly what role the candidate plays in the business world and what he or she wishes to achieve in the future.
"You must become known as THE person who does X; as THE person who is the best at X; as THE person who everyone thinks of when X is needed," said a consultant I previously worked with. You must be at the forefront of people's minds whenever they require what you provide!" Perception is reality in personal branding, perhaps more than in any other discipline! And personal branding is all about fine-tuning your perception of yourself.
DECISION is the difference between someone who has a personal brand and someone who does not. One person decided to become their brand at some point; the other person never did. If you decide to create your own personal brand, you must first define what you want your brand to be and then project that brand in a compelling and consistent manner. Don't wait for your personal brand to emerge as a result of outside influences such as employers, coworkers, clients, or friends. Instead, take the initiative to CREATE it.
Personal branding has always been easier for entrepreneurs, independent consultants, and freelancers. They usually "get it" and naturally develop personal brands to help their businesses grow. Employees must embrace personal branding in today's world because it provides numerous career benefits. Remember that your job can be terminated or taken away, but your personal brand is yours to keep for as long as you want.
Some people are put off by the concept of personal branding because it reminds them too much of selling. However, developing your personal brand is not the same as selling. You are "pushing" your service or product onto people when you sell. People are drawn to you like a magnet when you have successfully developed your personal brand!
Because of your high visibility and credibility, they've been "pre-sold." Indeed, having a strong personal brand eliminates the need to constantly pursue clients, customers, or employers. Instead, they'll be chasing after you, which is a welcome change!
Personal branding is the act of confidently stepping into your ideal self before you get there. To put it another way, your personal brand is who and what you will be when you reach your full potential. You must "own" this persona completely, invest in it, and devote yourself to it. No one will believe in your personal brand until you do!
To be truly authentic, your personal brand must be completely consistent with your core values. This will allow you to express your worth from your deepest truth, which is critical. As part of a unified campaign, ensure that your personal brand is consistent across all documents and platforms. This effort should be developed and carried out as part of a long-term "personal brand marketing strategy."
To build extreme expertise in a specific area of knowledge and skill - more than anyone else - you must solidify your personal brand. Your brand cannot be built on false promises or fantasies. You will need to repeatedly demonstrate your results in order to gain "brand trust" over time. To demonstrate your mastery, you will also need to create a portfolio of examples, accomplishments, or products. "The goal is to demonstrate complete mastery of what you want to do for a living," marketing author Seth Godin said. Get 1,000 people to know, like, and recommend you."
Effective personal branding allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader and expert in your field. It clearly distinguishes you from the other candidates.
You can boost your credibility by working as a speaker, author, advisor, board member, or guest contributor.
Here are some additional strategies for developing your personal brand:
Deliver presentations, seminars, interviews, workshops, and webinars (while recording audio/video)
Create your own website and contribute to other websites and publications as a guest contributor.
Articles, blogs, booklets, special reports, book reviews, newsletters, social media posts, and books should all be written (there is a never-ending need for content)
Associate with the most accomplished and inspiring people you can find (the true experts in your field)
Assume leadership positions in professional associations and organizations, and if possible, serve as an advisor or on boards.
Build your online persona by engaging with others, posting comments, joining LinkedIn groups, and so on.
Create a positive, consistent, and compelling social media presence across multiple platforms.
Do something notable in your industry, community, or organization that may result in special recognition.
Enter professional contests or competitions where you have a good chance of winning an award or being recognized (and then promote it)
Of course, YOU are the most effective marketing tool. To further strengthen your personal brand, you should seek extensive "third-party validation." Your mission is to assemble a "army" of people who will extol your abilities. Testimonials, letters of recommendation, LinkedIn recommendations, endorsements, and, most importantly, referrals are all examples of this. These referrals lead to one-on-one networking meetings, which are possibly the most important channel for brand development.
How do I identify and develop my personal brand?
The following questions can help you explore your options and build your personal brand:
What are your guiding principles?
What distinguishes you?
How do you set yourself apart?
What do people think of you when you're not around?
What is your first reaction when someone mentions your name?
What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?
What is your goal or mission?
Where are you most valuable?
What is your "ideal job?"
What is your one-of-a-kind talent or gift?
What is your "superpower" or "special sauce?"
What do others find most memorable or distinctive about you?
What are your strongest skills or abilities?
What do you consider yourself a "natural" at? Where do you "glow"?
Where do you really shine?
When and where have you received special acknowledgement or praise?
What do you believe you were "born to do?"
What kind of assistance do people always seek from you?
What do you want to be doing 10 to 15 years from now?
Building your personal brand takes time and effort, especially at first. But perseverance pays off, and things become much easier! Once you've established your personal brand, you must keep it fresh. As your life and career progress, you should continue to develop and nurture your personal brand.
Your personal brand, like a large corporation's public relations messaging, must be carefully monitored and curated. Maintain your branding behavior and stick to your "personal brand marketing plan" throughout your career, regardless of your job status. Employees and business owners who have consistently done this have reaped enormous benefits!
I research and write about careers, recruitment, and work experience. I studied English literature. I am interested in contract and permanent work as a researcher, recruitment consultant, tutor, or job interview coach.
A career writer,
Dickens is a Researcher and Writer working with Boostlane.
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