Hi there guys! Been thinking about my job of late, as you do in lieu of counting sleep sheep and, in lieu of being the recipient of a fabulous inheritance or lotto win or a cashed up retiree, it’s the one thing for which I get my shit-kickers on and show up. Every day. For many of you out there, often on weekends, and for the self-employed it’s 24/7 ‘game on’.

Been thinking too about how that job can suddenly disappear. Gone. Often without warning. Redundant through a takeover, merger or close down – gone. So too, my work email address, mobile phone and contacts and, unless I’ve actively maintained my ‘brand’ in the working world, my identity. I can become invisible. Even when showing up, we can still be invisible to the world beyond our work bubble. Well, not anymore my friend for that’s the stuff I coach folk on. Being visible. Problem is, not everyone feels comfortable with the concept.

I’m a private person, I don’t feel comfortable ‘marketing’ myself

 

Regardless of whether you are gainfully employed or currently in the job market my lovely reader, this post is designed to help you kick the “I’m a private person, and I don’t feel comfortable ‘marketing’ myself” last century self-talk to the wolves and step up, shape up your personal brand and ‘own’ it!

Let’s face it; companies spend millions on advertising to build and maintain their brand image. Well, we too are a brand. We are the CEO of our brand, accountable for our brand’s professionalism, the curators of our brand’s marketing. And as social media and professional social networks such as LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook Page (not to be confused with Facebook Social) continue to emerge, even more so. (In fact, not being active on certain platforms tells something about you!)

Today we have an endless number of possibilities to build, strengthen or recreate our personal image. The question is not whether you want to be a brand, but whether you want to shape it yourself or let others do that for you!

‘Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room’

Two friends shared their personal branding benefits:

I started building my personal brand online with the help of Google +, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and my website blog long before I became an independent public speaker. Sharing successes, posting video, images and summaries of conferences I presented at, writing articles on the customer experience including my own, customer delight being the premise of all my work. Doing this showed my network that I’m an expert in that field – this helped me to prepare the ground and find clients.” (Matt)

“I‘m working as an account manager at a technical company that offers project management software. As I’m interested in fashion, I post and write regularly about the latest tech trends in that industry on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. My boss sensed that my knowledge in that industry was of value due to my client portfolio garnering more and more fashion companies, and thus assigned new customers coming from the fashion industry directly to me.” (Clare)

You can see that building a personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. But when you are ready to invest some time in these steps, your career will benefit from it in ways you probably can’t even imagine now!

Six simple steps – interested?

Build your Personal Brand in Six Steps

1. A Personal Branding Statement

Concise and to the point, a personal branding statement shows who you are and what you have to offer. As you develop your statement, think about the following:

  • What are you good at, passionate about and thoroughly enjoy doing? (skill + interest = strength)
  • What makes you stand out from your peers? e.g. Your bubbly personality? Your ability to communicate complex things in simple language? Your problem-solving skills? Your eye for finding smarter ways to tackle tasks? Your ‘can-do’ attitude?
  • How do you want to make a difference? What superpowers have you used in your past and present roles and how have they benefited employers and clients?
    What do others say that you do exceptionally well?
  • What were the most important work-related projects that you completed – how did you master them? Did you collaborate with others? Have to be resourceful? Take risks? Did you have to be creative and think of new approaches, come up with new solutions? Use your network? Now identify three attributes that are common to the way you completed the projects.

Once determined you’re almost there. Compose that line and pop it above your Career Summary in your Resume, under your name in your LinkedIn profile, in the LinkedIn summary, your Facebook, Twitter, under your email signature, etc.

2. Backup that Statement

Until you have proof, your personal brand is merely hearsay. Think about all the times you used those attributes and jot down the challenges/situations you were addressing; the specific actions you took to address them and the quantifiable outcome of those actions. You now have yourself a few fantastic achievements to back up your brand statement. Add these to your Resume, LinkedIn summary, etc.

3. Audit

Now that you know how your brand looks and feels, it’s time for an audit! Enter Google. Search your name and see who shares it. If your name is common, consider using your middle initial or middle name. From there, push yourself to Google’s first page and ahead of that competition by building your brand through content on other platforms such as Google+, Instagram and Facebook Page, always with your branding byline included in your profile summary. The more active you are on your social media platforms the closer you will appear at the top. Using a consistent profile picture helps, too.

4. Consider a Personal Website

Having a personal website is not only one of the best ways to rank your name on Google; it also looks professional in your email signature and on your social media profile. It doesn’t need to be content rich. A simple site with content similar to your resume with links to other social platforms and a short bio is enough. Over time you can add a blog or a Twitter feed, YouTube links, publishes papers, anything relevant to supporting your brand message. You can also add some lines about your personal life – it gives people something to connect with instantly. Here’s mine  Jane Telford

5. Add (focused) value

Now that your brand is taking shape, the fastest way to establish yourself as an expert in your world of work is to share articles aligned with your brand message. You can do this by following Influencers, Channels and Media in LinkedIn. Be picky about the things you post, consistent in your chosen fields of interest and conscientious of the value you can provide your connections. Content that not only shows your expertise but also is of interest to your (potential) followers. Where possible, select a nugget that interested you in the article and comment as you share. Much more personable than merely on-sharing.

6. Influence!

Now the brand has been established, has been backed up with proof and further reinforced through content sharing on social media sites, being an actual contributing author can add further value to your brand. Consider using the blog application on social media platforms or even creating your own and using a savvy application to share your content automatically across all your social media platforms.

These are the steps that will help you to build your personal brand. It takes consistency and ongoing “construction” to keep the flame under your brand alight, but once you set up the basics, the brand will work for you and open new doors!

Last but not least – you can take a look at strong personal brands like Richard Branson, Andy Foote, Lets Grow, for inspiration. If you are my candidate and reading this, we are already well on the way to building a strong personal brand for that’s my expertise, my personal brand in action. We just need your story to be told right and in a unique way! Your personal brand – sharp, focused and most importantly, visible!

If you’d like to connect with me, you can find me here:  LinkedIn: Jane Telford

 

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    2 Comments on Own that personal brand baby!

    1. Jane Davies
      March 6, 2017 at 3:55 am (7 months ago)

      Something you rarely think about but once acknowledged is essential to consider. Thanks for the steps and opening my eyes …

      Reply
      • Jane
        Jane
        March 6, 2017 at 6:16 am (7 months ago)

        Is indeed Jane, and the fastest way to define it is to ask your friends to describe you in one sentence, then work buddies to the same and from there, define the outcomes.i already know the essence of your brand 😀

        Reply

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