Do you hear the phrase ‘personal brand’ quite a bit? You should, it is a critical component and driver for having the career you want. But, do you know what it means and how to use it? Before we get to that one important question – let’s review the the what, why and how of personal branding.
But what exactly is personal branding? It is the packaging of you. Think of it this way, we are all in sales whether we work for someone else, are looking for a job or own our own business. We are all in the business of selling the best version of ourselves to reach that next desired level in our career. The best version of you is your product. Your product is a unique combination of you and your value. The packaging of your product is your personal brand. Your personal brand is how you want others to see you, get you and remember you.
The way all great companies market awesome products – through a marketing strategy and campaign. That is where your LinkedIn profile, resume and any other virtual or real touch that you have with the outside world come into play. You want to showcase your brand on paper, digital and in person – networking, speaking, interviewing, client meetings, etc.
Great brands bring great results. For commercial based product marketing think Nike or Coca-Cola. For personal brand marketing think Mark Cuban and Richard Branson, they have perfected their marketing strategy to create a brand that is bigger than their company. I had a client tell me that her biggest dream would be to work for Richard Branson. She did not name a company, she named him.
Your personal brand can elevate your three big C’s: confidence, connections and career.
When your personal brand is the authentic alignment of you and your value and you market it, people will want to connect with you. Opportunities will present themselves because people will be drawn to you for who you are and what you do. Your network is going to expand. Your likelihood of finding that job increases.
SHRM surveyed employment and/or recruitment HR professionals to find out how they use social media for talent acquisition. According to this September 2017 article, 84 percent of hiring managers use social media to hire — 96 percent use LinkedIn, and 53 percent use Twitter.
We’ve covered the blueprint of your personal brand, the combination of you and your value. I call this the “V Formula” – your value (+) in your voice equals (=) visibility. Think about who you work with, how you work with them, what do you do and how does someone receive benefit to start identifying value.
That One Question
Here we are, the one question you need to start with; the funny thing is this one question is the one that most people often forget to ask themselves or even think about when they think about their personal brand.
Why do you do what you do?
No really, why do you do what you do? It is not enough to say “I love it”. I love food and to cook but it doesn’t mean I am any good at it. Dig into the why and no phony, what you think someone wants to hear why.
No blanket “I get to help people” why’s either. We want reasons here, real concrete, sink your teeth into them, make you feel good reasons. Start with the “I love it” and “I help people” but then go further, like this:
I love what I do and there are a few reasons why:
- I help people who feel stuck break free and get what they want
- I help people regain their confidence
- I help people rediscover themselves
- I help people see and accept their awesome
- I help people cut through their internal BS
- I meet amazing people who do extraordinary things
- I work with people who have a fire in their belly, a passion for what they do, a desire to expand
- Every day I get to talk with someone who loves what they do
- I learn something new every day from the internal workings of an international racing team, the early stages in developing new cancer drugs, the complexity of merging two powerhouse organizations, the intricacies of medical devises, the compassion of patient care or the dedication of keeping the warehouse together during the lean years. Every day!
- I get to use both sides of my brain: the analytical after an interview by analyzing my notes, researching positions, industries, companies, keywords, trends and preparing reports and tools for my clients. I get to use the creative when I am writing and designing the layout. Then I go back into analytical to analyze everything all over again.
and on and on….
When you are ready to take ownership of your personal brand and let it work for you, read this article from the bottom up. When you know your why all the other pieces will fall more easily in place. So, start with the why, input the value, use your voice, market your product and measure against what is possible.
Set yourself free and see where it takes you – it will be an amazing journey! Of course, if you need any help launching – you can find me on LinkedIn….
A little about me: I do what I love: help leaders break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
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