So, what exactly is a personal brand? Simply put – Personal Branding is the activity and practice of viewing your professional offering as a product, service, or ideal. You are the brand and the consumers your are targeting would be any employer or industry in which you are seeking to engage directly or are pursuing professional association.
Why is this important? Where do we start!! Not cultivating your personal brand, can limit your ability to effectively compete and be seen in the endless ocean of job seeking talent. Additionally this activity will support you in building a successful career.
When wanting a company to consider taking a look at what you have to offer, you need to differentiate yourself from the talent to your left and your right. Here are a few tips on how to start your 2015 New Year by introducing your personal brand to the ‘workforce market’.
Discover your brand . . .
If this concept of personal branding is a little new for you, kick start a journey of discovery. Ask yourself . . .
- What is your true passion what drives you everyday?
- What are my main principles and values?
- What do people frequently compliment me on or praise me for?
- What do I do OR can I do better than anyone else?
- How is exactly do I do what I do? What makes the way I achieve results interesting or unique?
One key to a successful discovery/development phase is to keep things in perspective. You are the brand, what you have to offer is the product or service. For your target employers or career industries, consider their wants and needs in their next employee (How can you show that you meet or exceed their preferences?).
Make your brand visible . . .
At this point your brand exists in your head, maybe your heart, or even your imagination. It does not become a reality until we can all see it. We suggest you build your own personal website. Certainly, it is important to engage the social media platforms that best support you in your branding efforts.
Your personal website will allow you creativity, flexibility, and most of all provide you with a uniquely visible platform of exactly what you want to say and how you want to say it.
- NY2015 Tip: Focus on writing and telling your story. In addition to Brands offering something to consumers, they also share a history, mission, and purpose. These together equate to YOUR story. Remember to focus on strong & appropriate content and consider engaging a job coach, industry professional, or trusted confidant that can give you an objective and constructive critique. Start narrating!
Market your KSAOs . . .
At this point you have identified and developed your personal brand. Now we can see you and what you have to offer. Next Step? Marketing YOU! Employers and industry professionals will review you by considering the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (i.e. personality, motivation, interests, education, experiences, and accomplishments) that you can offer.
These together combine to represent your talent. In your efforts to highlight & advertise these attributes hold the perspective of KSAOs being the backbone of your brand. If a consumer engages a product or service – they expect it to perform (right?).
Things to Remember . . .
- Hopefully these 3 actions steps to help you discover, share, and advertise your brand can get you off to a productive start. Just a few more things before you get to work . . .
- Remember, your personal brand should be thought of separate from vs. in conjunction with your current professional roles. Although the two are certainly connected, this brand focuses on the talented professional that is – you.
- Remember to network and connect with those who are influential and inspiration within your industry
- Remember to do your research. Research your industry but also conduct a little research to see how your efforts to personal brand stack up against other professionals that share your goals/objectives/interests.
- Consider developing your own mission statement. Maybe create your own quote or share a quote that you identify with and make it visible in association with your personal brand.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernhard Shaw, Author
Good Luck, Have Fun, & have an AWESOME 2015!!!