Why do we need to build or create our very own personal brand ?
Personal branding celebrates our uniqueness.
The personal brand experience is our opportunity to learn more about ourselves so we can identify our unique skills, strengths, and talents.
In most cases, we do not cultivate our personal brand, but it still exists. So, it can be time to explore it and refine it.
Think of yourself as a brand
The things that make you stand out, are part of your personal brand .
Like any brand, you can have a good image or a not-so-good one, and this affects your ‘value’ in the marketplace. If you are an employee a great personal brand will increase your chances of getting a promotion or pay rise.
For business owners your personal brand adds value to your business brand.
So, if you would like to show everyone what you are really worth, here are some tips to build a great brand for yourself:
1. Know how you add value – your strengths and your unique personal qualities. What makes you special? What are you better at than anyone else in your industry? In marketing jargon, this is your ‘unique selling proposition’. The best way to discover this is to ask others to give you feedback.
Do you want to be known as a key influencer in a particular field ?
Point out the topics that interest you and can grow into passions and build on your uniqueness.
2. Build your profile. Once you know what you have to offer, look for opportunities to show what you can do. There are lots of ways you can do this. Put your hand up for special projects, especially those where you’ll come into contact with key decision-makers in your organization or your industry. Join professional groups in your industry, attend regularly and get involved.
Speak to people. Seek opportunities to speak at places where you can offer your expertise. This experience will develop your communication skills, teach you how to interact with an audience, and make you more confident about what you aspire to do. Try to find a story that can connect you with people. Talk about the times when you were brave. Success guru Ben Burchard has a few tips to give on crafting your own hero story.
• The tough choice — the other choice would’ve been easier, but this choice made you a better person.
• The switch from victim to victor — everyone has that story.
• The switch from self-absorbed to service-minded – when was that point for you?
• The turnaround — when you finally decided to pursue something super meaningful.
Pro tip – do not try to become someone you are not. Be true to yourself. Only then, can you grow and develop a strategy to reach out and help people with your knowledge.
3. Pay attention to packaging. Just as packaging is important to your decision to buy a product, how you look, dress and speak will affect whether people ‘buy’ you. Dress as the person you want to be in 3-5 years, practice good confident posture – people will see you as that person if you look the part.
4. Be good at what you do. Like any brand you have to deliver on what you promise or your brand name will become a liability instead of an asset. Work in the areas of your strengths, so you are giving yourself every opportunity to shine. Spend time on work that will deliver the greatest benefit to your organization, your clients and your career.
5. Help others. Find out about their needs and find ways you can work together for everyone’s benefit. Be a supporter of others, encourage them and help them get where they want to go. You’ll find they will want to do the same for you.
Everyone has something special to offer, and building your personal brand is about finding out what’s great about you and then letting everyone else know about it by finding ways to add value to your organisation and your colleagues.
Now is a great time to make a start. Look at these five items and write down your own ideas about each one, then make them into a plan. Look at where you are now, where you want to be in 3, 5 or 10 years and what you need to get there. Write down specific actions that you’ll need to do and put a time against them. Then start doing them…. straight away!
You’ll be amazed how small actions in each area will make a difference. Make this your year to shine!