How to Build Your Personal Brand?
The concept of personal branding has been around for about 30 years being first introduced in the 1981 book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, by Al Ries and Jack Trout. The idea of personal branding started gaining momentum after a shift in the employment marketplace occurred. Up until the early 1990s, most people were employed by large corporations for long periods of time. Your personal brand was strongly tied to your role within the organization. No one viewed a personal brand as a resource you owned and managed, something that had value outside of the company. The company was the entity responsible for managing your career providing training, a career path, and a series of promotions. Only recently have people started to become the “CEO of Me Ltd”.
What is happening nowadays is that people find themselves in the job marketplace more frequently, due to shorter job tenures averaging three years. This is why it’s more important then ever to have a string personal brand and to know how to sell yourself.
Besides the shift in the employment marketplace and shorter job tenures another important factor contributing to the rise of personal branding is the Internet. It’s easier than ever to broadcast to the world your personal brand in various ways. Virtually everyone with an Internet connection has open access to the most important brand strategy which is visibility.
Like a corporate brand, your brand is determined by what people think and feel about you. Some personality characteristics that make a strong brand: being honest and responsible, adaptability and compatibility, drive and determination, compassion and understanding, courage, loyalty. The value of your brand is based on the value that it provides others.
Determine Your Professional Brand
Your brand is what others think and feel about you, so the best way to determine your brand is to ask others for feedback.
You also can determine your brand by doing a self-assessment. Typically, personal brands are a combination of the following: values, interests, personality, skills, strengths, work-life balance. Considering these elements, answer the following questions to identify your brand.
What is the personal trait that defines me?
What is your greatest professional achievement?
What is your greatest personal achievement?
What do I want to be known for?
What differentiates me from my colleagues?
What differentiates me from my friends?
When I felt that I was most in tune with my gifts and talents, what was I doing?
What do I consider to be my best contributions to others?
One way of differentiating your brand from that of individuals claiming the same brand qualities is to focus on what you are against. Being opposed to something, such as waste, inefficiency, poor communication, or rudeness, can help people find meaning in your brand.
Once you have determined your brand the next step is to communicate it in a brief and relevant statement.
Your brand statement is one to two sentences that communicate what you are best at (value), whom you serve (audience), and how you do it uniquely (unique selling proposition). It sums up the promise of the value you will deliver; it is not a job title. A job title is something others apply to you and how employers label you so you fit into a corporate structure. Your brand is bigger than that.
Your brand statement also is not your personal mission statement, career objectives, or even life purpose.
These are broader, longer-term concepts intended to guide you through your life and career and are not aimed at marketing you today.
What is a Personal Brand Statement?
A personal brand statement is a short, memorable and compelling bio.
Being able to describe exactly what you do in one sentence is a statement about your clarity and professional focus. Eye catching brand statements can make you stand out on social media, during networking and interviewing when asked: “Tell me about yourself”.
Examples of personal brand statements (as found on about.me):
Richard Cox (about.me/richcox): “Rich Cox challenges leaders, groups and companies to stretch farther and achieve more, he helps world leaders and change-makers inspire others to action.”
Jereemy Lacroix (about.me/jeremylacroix): “Jeremy LaCroix is an accomplished leader in the field of Design and UX with over 15 years of experience leading award winning teams in digital, video and print design.”
Moshe Feder (about.me/moshemf): “A time traveler in training, an alien spy, or merely an aspiring renaissance man, Moshe acquires and edits bestselling Science Fiction and Fantasy as a Consulting Senior Editor for Tor Books”.
Your Vision and Mission
A personal vision is strongly related to your dreams and hopes for your career, it’s a point in the future that you are trying to accomplish. Usually it is a big and unattainable goal that motivates and inspires you. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” – Norman Vincent Peale. A bold personal vision can lead to excellency and a valuable brand.
A mission statement is how you are going to achieve your vision.
A vision and a mission statement provide a direction and a clear path.
Use Your Brand Statement Often
Because your brand statement expresses concisely who you are and how you can offer value to potential customers or employers you should use it as frequently as possible. Every time you send an email, post on a discussion group or create an online profile you can mention your brand. Maximizing your brand’s visibility also maximizes your opportunities. This is what our service can offer you: to maximize your opportunities by spreading your brand on a multitude of social media sites. You don’t have a personal brand statement yet? no problem, we can work together and design a professional brand statement for you.
Online personal branding is a marathon not a sprint that’s why continually communicating a consistent brand message is the key to a successful branding campaign.