Building your personal brand

29 May 2013

Reference: CIO; Forbes; inc

Personal brands are not just for the Donald Trumps and David Beckhams of this world (to name but two celebrities whose brands are vitally important to their status). However, this is not about self-promotion. With long term corporate careers being a thing of the past for many of us, a clear personal brand will help carry you from one temporary employment situation to another.

Building a personal brand is about defining what you are good at and building your reputation on those strengths.

Start by working out what you do best.
It could be one or two skills or maybe it’s a list of five characteristics. Think about your capabilities and the special attributes and qualities you bring. What do people always come to you for? What is your specialism? Be honest about your strengths and focus on those.

Work out your value to the industry.
You need to understand your value in order to promote your value to the industry. So think about how you personally benefit the industry. Show you understand what’s happening in the industry and why you’re better than the next industry expert. 

Build up your online social presence.
Develop your profiles on all the major social networks; set up your own web page; contribute to groups, blog, write a white paper, share useful content. Update your profiles regularly and make all your contributions count. Remember to keep your profiles and your comments consistent with your brand. i.e. don’t make statements you could regret later, such as bad mouthing a competitor. You could end up wanting to work for them.

Be the solution to the problem.
Listen carefully and research thoroughly to find out what people really want and then highlight your skills that match what they want. Cite your successes to give them confidence that you can help them achieve their goals.

Deliver on your brand promise.
Whatever you say you can do or are going to do you must deliver on it if anyone else is going to believe in your brand. When people trust that you are what you say you are your brand becomes impressive and meaningful. This is called “living your brand.”

Become a role model.
When you have a strong, positive personal brand, people who like what you do will follow you. You will become a role model. Being surrounded by good, talented people is a testament to your strengths as a leader.

Think about your personal brand every time you interact with some. Be mindful of how you affect others and how they respond to you and always live up to the expectations that you set.