Who sits in that chair above? Have you ever tried to describe them? Have you ever stopped and considered what your personal brand is? What the message that you send out to world looks like? Whether you like it or not – we all have a personal brand. What vibe do you give off when you walk into room? The way you speak, the stories you tell, the way you communicate, the way you dress, this is all a part of your unique personal brand. Are you currently using it to your advantage? When we think of products, we think of brands and the way they are marketed to us – some appeal to you, others do not. The same will be true for your personal brand.
The question is this – how do you make sure that the people you want to appeal to, whether it is colleagues, clients, your manager, new job prospects, or the industry you work within, are interested and trusting in your personal brand?
Some of you may have read my last blog about self-development and knowing who you are, warts and all! (Check it out here if you missed it). Having a strong self-awareness will be a big help when it comes to having an understanding of your own personal brand and its message. Sure, when you walk into an interview, it is unlikely that the interviewers will be able to tell your motivator at its core, or what your drivers in life are, but what they will be able to tell is your demeanour, your personality, your confidence and the manner in which you speak.
They will also likely already have a picture of you in their minds from the research they may have done online, through your resume, or through references from people who may have worked with you before. If you don’t know what this all looks, feels like, then how do you know if it is helping you or hindering you?
Personal Branding is the key to giving yourself an advantage both in your current job and when you search for a new one. Your personal brand is something that follows you around – you can’t shake it. It’s something that exists even if you don’t bother to nurture it. From job to job, the way you present yourself professionally matters, and it is instrumental in establishing yourself as a valuable leader and contributor in whatever your field of expertise might be.
Ever googled yourself to see what comes up? Now might be the time, my friend. Ever tested your Facebook privacy settings to see what strangers can find of you? Now might be the time. As vain as it might sound, before people get to meet you and get to know you and the deeper message of your personal brand, they will go on what they can find, which in this day and age is all in the public domain – don’t you ultimately want control, as much as possible, on what that message is?
Because of social media and our boundaryless levels of visibility, personal branding is one of today’s leading career strategy topics and a critical tool for flourishing in today’s work environment. It helps you attract business opportunities through playing to your strengths and communicating expertise to your chosen target audience through your online, verbal and networking channels.
Not sure of your personal brand? Here are a couple of tips to help you start controlling the message, instead of it controlling you:
Know who you are – if you don’t have an awareness of who you are and what you stand for then you’ll have no idea what message you are giving off, or if that is the message you want to be giving off – check out my recent blog around self-awareness here which will help you.
Complete a social media audit -do a scan of what is currently in the public domain regarding you and decide if you are happy with it. You want consistency in your message, so consider this when doing your homework. A professional picture of you on your Linkedin site, coupled with an open Facebook profile with pictures of you skulling wine from a box might not send a consistent message. I’m not saying don’t skull the wine, I’m just saying maybe lock down your facebook! ?
Raise your profile – share your thoughts and educated opinions to help get your profile out there. Become a thought leader in your field, whether this be internally within your current role and workplace, or externally out in the market. Get to know people and allow them to get to know you and your thoughts, opinions and knowledge on the areas you’re skilled in.
Work out what your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is: Companies spend insane amounts of money understanding their customers and how to pitch themselves in the market to create a USP. You’re also unique and you too have unique value that is important to articulate clearly to successfully position yourself in the market – remember your “market” might be internal in your workplace or external within the industry, or both!
Need help cultivating your personal brand? Or, not sure where to start? I can help you work out your USP and help you dig deep into who you are what you’re all about! Once you know this you’ll experience a heightened sense of confidence and self-esteem. If you feel like this could be lacking – contact me and let’s have an initial chat about your goals.
I help women get out of their own ways. I help you deal with the overthinking. The Imposter Syndrome. The self-doubt. The career confusion or crossroads. All the things currently getting in your way of being a confident, kick a** woman in your workplace and in your life.