Brand building isn’t just meant for large-scale businesses or start-ups. In today’s super-connected work environment, how you do your work goes together with the results you deliver.
Sometimes this comes in the form of your trademark approach to solving problems, or how you specifically manage and connect with your teammates, all these different factors build towards your overall outward image inside and outside your professional circles.
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When you become known for your unique area of expertise, you are no longer attached to a specific employer or job title. Your skills are transferrable, and you are building your career or business on your own terms.
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What Your Personal Brand Means
For businesses, a brand is something that the company strives to achieve in each action it takes in the market. With Nike, it’s their overall commitment through sheer athletic effort encapsulated in their slogan “Just Do It”; with Apple, it’s their consistent exploration of new innovative technologies through their mantra to always “Think Different”.
Your personal brand is not so different. While you might not have it locked down to a catchy phrase that goes well on t-shirts or billboards, your personal brand is often expressed in some sort of narrative regarding what you believe in, how you stand for certain things, and ultimately who you are as a person.
Your Personal Brand in Action
While this might have been important for entrepreneurs and freelancers who stake their business alongside their reputation, they’re no longer the only ones that need to refine their brands. These days even individual employees working at larger firms are being encouraged to develop their own sense of a personal brand to better align within the specific culture that each company is trying to cultivate.
If ever you’re considering starting a new job or transferring industries, a personal brand can help you signal to prospective employers’ different aspects of your work ethic, your collaborative styles, and even your communication skills, in a neat and engaging way. Even in your current position, a personal brand can help anchor your personal value and beliefs, which can help you gain traction with new clients or possible promotions.
How to Sustain Your Personal Brand
As the market continues to evolve, brands are likely to shift how they communicate their current campaigns as well as the products they have on offer. What great brands do that helps maintain their longevity is continuing to stick towards the foundational elements of their brand while being flexible enough to communicate with different audiences. Your personal brand ideally will follow a similar structure.
Ensure Your Understand Yourself Now
A key aspect of your personal brand is to begin with the obvious: yourself. You might have an ideal personal brand that you’re aiming for, but without fully embodying it you’ll likely just be making things difficult for yourself.
Observe how you work now and how you find yourself interacting with others professionally. Try and find a way to break down these aspects into their core attributes. There won’t be an exact way to phrase any particular thing you believe in but as long as it is genuine it should suffice as an adequate foundation for your brand.
Explore What Others Perceive You As
An internal analysis is only half the equation when it comes to personal branding. While it’s important to never let yourself be influenced too much by what others think, in this case, it’s integral you understand how your personal brand is being perceived by others.
Keep in touch with your professional peers and always try to analyze how your performance affects and is affected by others. In real-world settings, being aware of the external and the importance of networking is a reality that takes time to understand but will be invaluable in building up your personal brand.
Keep Your Brand Updated
As you continue to hone your abilities internally and showcase them externally, it’s key that you find ways to remain agile in how you approach yourself and others. While we’ve mentioned brands stay true to the fundamental aspect of their business, there are times that even certain foundational elements evolve over time. Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign started off as a “take no prisoners” approach to the 80s exercise craze but has since transformed into an ethos that encompasses ideas of strong will, determination, motivation, and the athletic spirit.
Your personal brand will demand consistent work not just to develop but to maintain. But the process remains unique to you, and the best time to start crafting your brand is today.
Gain Vital Credibility
When people perceive you as having expertise in a given field, you will gain vital credibility.
Your ideas and the content you create are quickly shared and taken to heart. Most importantly, people respect your experience and trust your knowledge. When influential people speak, their target audience hangs onto every word.
The audience recognizes that there is significant value in what the influencer has to share, and that there are positive rewards for following his or her advice.
That is the power of influence: to affect behaviour because of the reputation you have earned as a reliable leader and problem-solving specialist in a particular field, someone who always has his or her followers’ best interests at heart.
But the biggest game changer? Taking the time to showcase your expertise and build your memorable brand image.
I have 7 ways that you can get started with this strategy, and I want to send it to you in my NEW thought leadership guide. Sign-up here to download your copy and get a complimentary invitation to the PR Planathon event.