According the Wikipedia, Personal Branding is “essentially the ongoing process It’s never an easy question when reflecting upon your career, but as professionals, we shouldn’t put off examining the facts around whether ‘should I stay or should I go?’ If you’re finding yourself questioning your current place of employment and if it is really where you want to be on more than the odd occasion, it may be time to stop and reflect. It is normal to review where you are, where you want to be, and if being where you are will ensure you arrive at your ideal goal. And that’s worth some time spent pondering.of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group or organization. A practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.”
Developing your personal brand does not mean self-promotion, quite the contrary. Developing your personal brand is about raising the bar on yourself, holding yourself accountable, thinking of the bigger picture - not the immediate takeaways, and serving others to create positive experiences and feelings. And that’s what people remember.. how you make them feel.
Personal branding is making a life time commitment to being the best version of you and demonstrating your positive attributes and strengths consistently. If you demonstrate these correctly, you will be known for what you can deliver, and this in turn ensures you raise your standards on a daily basis to meet expectations of others, which you have actually created. If your colleagues and peers don’t know what your personal brand is, it’s safe to say no one else does either and chances are you’re not communicating it correctly.
Why should you build your Personal Brand?
Firstly, building a professional brand creates opportunities both personally and professionally. Building a professional brand can lead to: Industry recognition, a better (more rewarding) career, a strong network of likeminded peers, increased business, the list goes on. Now welcome the online world, both in social and professional platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. Employers are using these applications and many more to access new talent and keep abreast of existing employees, you can be certain most employers will type your name into a search engine and press enter at some stage, and the message they receive is totally up to you. Whether you have a personal brand or not is no longer the question; the question is whether or not you choose to take control of your PB or opt out, choosing to be a spectator of your own self- image and how it is portrayed.
So, are you living your personal brand on a daily basis, focused on a set of predefined values you want to be known for? If the answer is no don’t be alarmed, surveys show only 10% - 15% of people have a defined personal brand that they live with focus on every day. Below are 4 tips on how you can get started on creating your Personal Brand for the work place today.
1. Set the standard based on your end goal
If you know what your end goal is, work backwards, identify the top players who are where you want to be and list their top demonstrated behaviours and attributes- if you’re not clear on exactly what they are ask them, people love talking about themselves. Once you have set your standard base level work from there and live those values every day, slowly people will start to associate those behaviours with you.
2. Trust yourself
To be a leader you need to take risks, to take risks you need to trust and back yourself 100%. If you don’t have the courage to trust yourself you are projecting that on others and in turn they won’t trust your ideas, advice etc even if it is valid.
Taking something head on that you have not researched and ill prepared for, to then flunk majorly, is the right way to lose credibility and fast. Ask someone who demonstrates a certain attribute that you admire how they got to where they did, I can almost guarantee if they’re seen as the expert for that particular thing, it hasn’t happened by chance. You need to spend time on perfecting your craft, sometimes countless hours. It took Sir James Dyson 5,127 attempts at creating the Dyson Vacuum cleaner before getting it right.
4. Reflection and hold yourself accountable
Getting into the habit of reflecting after every win or loss is key in identifying what works, what doesn’t and what could do with some work. If you implement this into your daily activities it will expedite your personal development and success tenfold.
5. Communicate and align your Personal Brand
This is what you do on a daily basis, let people know what you’re about through your actions and the company you keep, continually raise the bar and always be thinking of how you can serve others. Who and what you align yourself reflects on your brand and can be seen as an extension of you.
Managing your personal brand is an ongoing journey, one that can prove to be very rewarding and can open your eyes to people and opportunities you had never dreamed of both personally and professionally. Start with these tips and you’ll be on your way to being seen as the person you want to be, not the person don’t.