With much talk about branding for products, having a personal brand is also important. If you want to be known as an expert or the go-to person for a certain skill or ability, your name should be at the top of people’s minds when they are looking for that special something. A personal brand is important for those in business but also for those who want to develop their career. The goal in today’s fast-paced career environment is to become widely known for your brand and the combination of strengths that you would like to be known for. When people think of you, they think of…
What is a personal brand?
Tom Peters, 1997 started the discussion on personal branding with an article called ‘The brand called you’, link: https://www.fastcompany.com/28905/brand-called-you. Since that time, a personal brand has become all about the development of the image that you want to portray to other people. It is an association of your name with a certain image, reputation or skill. In today’s employment environment individuals may well develop their personal brand at work but they may also portray their personal brand through social media. Having a social media profile means that a personal brand is on show for potential employers even when you are not actively seeking a career change.
Everybody has a personal brand even if you have not consciously developed it. Your personal brand relates to your look, your personality, your values, your qualifications and achievements. It is how you represent yourself to the world. A personal brand is what makes you different and unique!
How do you use your personal brand?
Telling the world about your personal brand can be achieved by honing your profile on sites such as LinkedIn or your website if you are in business. The first thing potential contacts, customers or recruiters see is your photograph and your tagline (on LinkedIn). They are also looking for your career summary and background experience to determine whether this matches their job requirements. If you are in business, potential customers want to read about you on your website. Is it time for a review of your information, image and your profile? Even in a few months, you have added more skills, changed your image or had new achievements. To help you develop your personal brand, think about these 11 points that will help you to define your brand :
- Personality – describe your personality as well as your less than positive aspects
- Values – what values do you want to portray eg integrity, respect, courage, excellence
- Passions – what do you feel passionate about and want to give focus to
- Interests – what areas of work interest you?
- Strengths – where do you excel and are able to demonstrate high performance
- Education and Work Experience – what are your formal skills and qualifications?
- Influencers and inspirations – who is your role model and who do you aspire to be like?
- Look and style – what is your signature look and style?
- Goals – what are your goals into the future?
- Target Market – what areas do you want to work or conduct business in?
- Associations – what professional and personal associations do you have?
The following link has a Personal Branding Workbook with more intensive questions to help define your brand
All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You. Tom Peters in Fast Company
Until next time, work on your brand and how you want to be seen by the world.
Dr Janene Piip
Talent consultant and career practitioner