Faithful readers of my blog know that I am a big advocate of proactively building “Brand You” — that is, your personal brand — or as you may prefer to call it, your professional reputation.
Simply put, your personal brand is how people see you, and that image can directly impact your career. Managers, mentors, clients and colleagues want to associate with people they view in a positive way.
Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned professional, it’s never too late to polish your brand. Here are some actionable tips to help you put your best foot forward.
Understand Why Personal Brand Matters
“You control the message. When potential clients, employees, or even employers look for you, they’ll be more likely to find information you provided. You have a focus/direction. Often, knowing how you want to professionally brand yourself will lead you to naturally pursue opportunities to deepen your branding. Your expertise and authority in your field will subsequently grow.” — Work it Daily.
Know What Your Brand Currently Is
“If someone did a search for your name, what would the web tell them about who you are? A quick audit of your personal brand starts with that brand search–typing your name into a few different search engines. … When you’re getting started you’re likely to see more varied results. In my case, the first page is fully controlled by content I own and produced myself. Your search will show you opportunities and possibly items that need to be addressed.” — Inc.
Identify Your Purpose, Mission and Values
“This aspect of personal branding [personal executive presence] is less tangible, but just as important. Aligning your purpose, mission and values with your personal brand means first identifying what your purpose, mission and values are and how you can exemplify those in your daily life, says Mel Carson, founder of Delightful Communications and a digital strategy consultant, keynote public speaker, personal branding expert and author. ‘When we’re working with clients to build a personal brand, we ask a lot of questions around what their purpose is. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What drives you to pursue this field, this role, this industry, beyond the paycheck?’ Carson says.” — CIO.com.
Own Your Story
“Building a brand, especially one that truly resonates with people, is all about the story you tell. Who you are in the world, and who you want to be. That message needs to be clear and consistent. But most of all, authentic. It needs to be your own unique brand of whatever it is you are about. Maybe you are ridiculously stylish, or fantastically funny, or maybe your invention is going to change the world. Whatever it is, own that story. Talk about it with reverence, passion, and love. That enthusiasm, that uniqueness—that is what differentiates you and it’s what people are going to notice.” — Create & Cultivate.