Have you ever wondered why some celebrities and politicians get more coverage than others equally talented? Think Donald Trump. Lady Gaga. Oprah Winfrey.
It’s because they have a strong personal brand.
You might not be looking for coverage in the media, however a strong personal brand enables you to get brilliant career success because people will be able to ‘identify’ you more easily.
Before we can figure out HOW to develop our personal brand for career success, first let’s think about what we mean by ‘personal brand’.
In its simplest terms, personal brand is who you are and what you stand for. It’s your reputation. It’s a combination of your skills, talents, strengths, experience and values.
It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
And even if you tell me “I don’t need a personal brand. I’m doing just fine as I am.”
I’ve got news for you – you have a personal brand, whether you want one or not. We all do. And if you don’t manage your personal brand, others will do it for you.
Given that you do already have a personal brand, it makes good sense to proactively manage and develop it so that you get the career success you really want. When you take control of how you are perceived, you are in a better position to actively manage your career progress.
How do I know what my personal brand is
If you’re not sure what your personal brand is, you need to ask coworkers and colleagues. Remember it’s how people describe you or talk about you when you’re not in the room.
What are the words others use to describe you to somebody else?
What words or phrases regularly come up in your appraisal or performance review?
What are your core values i.e. what’s most important to you?
How do I develop my personal brand
Here are 7 simple ideas to develop your personal brand:
- Get known for one specific thing whether that’s a project manager with international experience, an action taker who has a calm head in a crisis or the onsite GDPR expert. Think about what you would like to be known for and focus on that one thing.
- Be consistent – consistency rules when it comes to personal brand. If you’re sometimes very organised and at other times very chaotic in your approach, that will reflect in your personal brand. It’s also about consistency and being the same no matter the audience.
- Be genuine and authentic – rather than trying too hard to be somebody or something you’re not, focus on your natural strengths and innate talents. It’s so much easier to be yourself.
- Create opportunities for yourself – get speaking opportunities; volunteer to get involved in interesting or challenging projects; take on new clients; participate in cross-team collaborations. When you purposely create opportunities that allow you to demonstrate your personal brand, you will be easier to ‘place’, recommend and refer.
- Get testimonials from others – social proof is very powerful. I get that might feel a bit weird or uncomfortable however if you are ambitious and you want career success, just do it anyway. Many of the women that I work with in my VIP programme don’t big themselves up enough. What you need to remember is that nobody else will do this for you. If you want brilliant career success, you’ve got to get through that discomfort.
- Invest in yourself – once you are clear on what you want to be known for, invest in yourself to further develop your expertise. Make the most of the training on offer at work or consider paying for your own personal development – whether that’s in the form of training, coaching or attending conferences, webinars and seminars. What about a personal development book club? It can be as simple as investing 20 minutes at lunchtime to watch a TED talk or to listen to an informative podcast.
- Manage your online presence – in today’s career market and with the plethora of social media platforms, your personal brand is already out there. If you are developing your personal brand to advance your career, your two key platforms are LinkedIn and Twitter. (And if you’re not sure how to use LinkedIn for your career, get started here).
This is often an area where I gain new clients. You have the talents and the experience but you’re not sure how to develop a strong personal brand that gets you noticed and brings you new career opportunities.
However the good news is that after just one session with me, you’ll have a realistic and practical action plan that gets results.
p.s. If you want some help with identifying and developing your personal brand, let’s talk. Book your Career Power Hour today and let’s work together to create your 5 step action plan.