In today’s world, it’s important to take your personal brand seriously if you want others to take you seriously. Try out these tips for understanding the importance of personal branding, defining your own personal brand, and marketing your brand for greater career success.
Understanding the Importance of Personal Branding
Your personal brand helps you to:
1. Prosper as a free agent. Your personal brand is your reputation. It’s the way others see you. If you’re like most people, you may be switching jobs and employers regularly. Your personal brand is an asset you can take with you wherever you go.
2. Chart your own direction. Your brand will help you to establish goals, priorities and action plans. Even while taking care of daily obligations, you’ll have a bigger picture in mind.
3. Serve others. Self promotion can go too far, so it’s easy to think that branding is somehow vain or self-absorbed. In reality, your personal brand shows the positive impact you can have on other people and the world around you.
Defining Your Own Personal Brand
These tips will help you create an outstanding personal brand:
1. Take an inventory. Take a good look at yourself. Write out your strengths and weaknesses. Identify your passions. Think about what you’re good at and what you like to do.
2. Distinguish yourself from your colleagues. There are plenty of talented and dependable people in every field. Pinpoint your unique selling point. Maybe you’re a gas station owner who maintains the cleanest bathrooms in town.
3. Talk about benefits. Let your target audience know what you can do for them. Explain how you can boost profits by increasing sales or saving money.
4. Summarize your mission in 10 seconds or less. Be prepared to capture people’s attention quickly. Let them know what you do in 15 words or less. You can tell you’re on the right track when they ask for more details.
5. Ask for feedback. Survey your family, friends, customers and colleagues to find out what they think of you and your abilities. Show your appreciation for constructive criticism so they’ll keep sharing it with you.
6. Stay updated. Review your personal mission statement every six months. Make new action plans so you’re always getting closer to your goals.
Marketing Your Personal Brand
Use these strategies to expand your reach:
1. Increase your visibility. Post fresh content on your website or blog regularly. Stay active in social media. Look for opportunities to teach classes, give presentations, or write articles in your field.
2. Build buzz. Collect samples of positive feedback you get in the workplace. Assemble testimonials from happy clients and encourage them to make referrals. Word of mouth is often more effective and certainly cheaper than paid advertising.
3. Tell your success stories. Craft brief anecdotes about your accomplishments that showcase your skills and make you proud. Rehearse telling them so you sound natural.
4. Monetize your contribution. Numbers sound convincing. Try to quantify the value you can deliver. For example, if you’re pitching your IT services to a small business owner, discuss how much money they can save by signing up with you for monthly maintenance visits that reduce the risk of expensive repairs and downtime.
5. Put together a dream team. It’s difficult to go it alone. Cultivate your network. Help others to market their brand and they’re more likely to do the same for you. Team up with complementary partners. Exchange services like cooking meals for a friend who cuts your hair.
Branding used to be for cattle and big corporations, but now everyone is in on the act. Take charge of your personal brand to achieve more career success and guide your life in a direction that is meaningful for you.