In Her Words: How to Build a Personal Brand That Stands Out
In a pile of resumés, how confident are you that your personal message and distinguishing factors will stand out from the rest? Without a solid personal brand in place, you may get lost in the noise of your competition. Your brand is your one fighting chance to make an impression.
So, what does it take to create a solid, impactful personal brand? To get branding right, you first have to understand what is and what it isn’t. Personal branding aims to capture the core of who you are and what you stand for. And who you are matters before all else—including degrees, past experiences, and even whom you know. Companies are looking to hire the right people for the right job, which means you have to put in the work to reveal your purpose, your value, and the promise of what you can deliver.
You may have never thought about your brand, but you’ve certainly connected and engaged with corporate brands at one point or another. Look at the brand messages that power tech-giants like Google, Amazon, and Apple – corporations that have made billions by combining innovative products and services with an equally strong brand voice. Each has been able to establish effective brands that resonate with consumers on an individual level, and also convert into sustainable revenue growth.
Your personal brand can be seen in the same way. Skills and ability matter, but those who have the right skills and a powerful and compelling personal brand rise above the rest. The combination of talent and branding can open the door to the career and life that you imagine for yourself.
What can you do now to cultivate a personal brand message that spotlights your value and separates you from your competition? You’ve got to get to the heart of you, and what you have to offer others, the workplace, and the world. It’s time to make sure you are getting it right. Answer these three questions and see where you measure up when it comes to personal branding.
What do you want to be known for?
Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, explains personal branding with one simple question: What do others say about you when you aren’t in the room? Whatever the answer is, that’s your brand.
Take the time to think about what you want to be known for. Ask your co-workers, friends, and mentors how they would define who you are and what you stand for. The descriptions you receive will be the foundation you need to pin down your brand message (i.e., the words and phrases you use over and over again to emphasize the essence of who you are). The message you create should encapsulate your unique value and your core competencies.
What does Google have to say about you?
Your brand goes beyond what you want people to say and feel about you. In today’s technology-run economy, your internet footprint could leave a significant mark on your brand.
Do a quick search on yourself and browse the results that come through. If you aren’t happy with what you find, start making changes now. You can begin by cleaning up your presence on LinkedIn and other social networks that house content that you would prefer to protect from your employer or colleagues.
But don’t stop with just your social media channels. Consider building your search engine optimization by creating a website – preferably one that uses your first and last name – to house your resumé and portfolio. The results that land on Google matter. It’s up to you to make sure that those results accurately reflect your brand.
What relationships can you start investing in today?
What relationships can you start investing in today? Too often, many say that networking is ineffective and a waste of time. That is a mistake. Every investment of time you make for a networking event might not lead to a beneficial connection today. But it may pay off tomorrow. It is critical to look at networking as a long-term play. Treat it as an effort toward creating lasting relationships that will help you evolve in different roles and organizations.
This probably isn’t the first time you’ve heard the value of networking, and it won’t be the last. One of the most valuable things you can do for your career is to begin building a bench of professional relationships on an ongoing basis. Those relationships will serve as a reinforcement to your brand. The more relationships you nurture the easier it is for your brand to solidify and take root.
Personal branding is the key to unlocking the life you want. Invest the time and energy now to find your brand voice. Doing so will open more doors for you to take your career to the next level.
About Elevate For Her: Elevate For Her is a professional development organization that provides programming specifically for women. Programs include negotiations, empowerment, unconscious bias, personal branding, and even improv for business. The organization’s founder, Rhonda Moret, is a professional speaker and seasoned marketing professional who has worked on accounts including Nike Golf, PGA of America, and Universal Studios and has also worked with high profile personalities such as Billie Jean King, Tiger Woods, bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki, and more.
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