Communicating your personal brand
Published: Aug 23, 2013
What is a personal brand? It is very much like a corporate brand. Your personal brand is what people can expect to experience when they work with you, whether you are self-employed or working within an organization.
To develop a strong brand requires introspection. What do like and dislike? What are you passionate about? You also need to be in touch with your own system of values. What’s important to you?
If you want to begin to convey a strong brand, it absolutely has to be steeped in authenticity. Don’t try to define yourself based on other’s expectations. In other words, it is not uncommon for someone to describe themselves as a ‘people’s person’ because they assume that would be a favorable characteristic.
The truth of the matter is this description does not suit everyone, and it is okay. There are people who prefer to work in isolation. They perform better and can contribute more if interaction is not the core element of their job.
Knowing yourself and creating a strong brand for yourself will help you avoid being misplaced. Your unique strengths will become quite apparent and once given the right opportunities you will excel.
Your brand is sometimes referred to as your DNA or distinctive natural abilities. In marketing, we call it your USP: unique selling proposition.
Once you are clear on what that is, you will have the ability to properly position yourself. Branding is about specializing. In other words, your goal should not be to simply be a good employee. That is too vague and very forgettable. Your goal should be to be known for something on your job.
For example, let’s say you are a natural organizer, you love to organize. If that is you, use this attribute to brand yourself. This means you must always be organized, and you can help others to organize themselves. When things are in disarray, take the initiative to organize it, even if it is not your job. If you can find a way to verbalize your brand, it will guide you in all that you do and permeate every area of your life. You can become known as the master of organization.
If you are the master of organization, it will affect the way you dress, the way you communicate and how you present information. You will begin to look for situations and determine how to better organize for effectiveness. Can you see the value that is beginning to surface here?
Branding is about finding your specialty, the one thing you want to be known for. McDonald’s sells chicken sandwiches, but they are known for their burgers. Discover your specialty, be intentional and create a strong brand.
• Kim Welcome is CEO of Influential Voice. A communication trainer and coach, she assists businesses and individuals to achieve their goals through helping them to develop deliberate, skillful, polished, communication skills. For more information, visit www.influentialvoice.com.