Personal Branding and Marketing Yourself
Identifying and marketing your personal brand is an essential core competency for managing and sustaining a successful career. Empower yourself by knowing what you have to offer, what you want and how to ask for it.
Your ability to market your talents, accomplishments and value inside your organization and within your profession, industry and community are a key part of enhancing your brand. The demands we face today include an unpredictable economy, very competitive and specialized marketplace, globalization, changing demographics, and strong leadership skills by all levels.
In order to be successful, it is critical to set yourself apart.
Think about the following questions:
- Do you know your value adds – your unique differentiators?
- Can you define your personal brand?
- How easily can you articulate that brand?
- Do you actively work on enhancing your brand?
Are you comfortable talking about yourself in this way? More importantly, are you prepared to talk about yourself in this way – packaging your talents and accomplishments – showcasing them and presenting your value internally within your organization and externally within your chosen field and community?
How can you develop this ease, confidence and comfort that is considered very difficult by many people?
Many people view it as a task, so it can come across as insincere and ineffective. The first step is to change your mindset and embrace personal branding as a required competency in taking charge of your career and executing a successful career management strategy. A core competency that can become so effortless and second nature that you do not even realize you are doing so.
Easier said than done! Let’s walk through some techniques for developing this core competency.
- Preparation – conduct your due diligence; define and identify your brand
- Packaging – create your portfolio; create and build your brand
- Presentation – deliver your message; articulate and enhance your brand
- Know your value/Self assessment – skills, competencies, accomplishments, strengths, limitations, interests, values and aspirations, input from others
- Differentiating factors – unique characteristics, traits and/or experiences you have to offer that set you apart
- Network – build, maintain and nurture long lasting relationships
- Content expertise – establish specific niches, functional and/or technical expertise
- Goals – create mission for career, set goals (short and long term), have a plan
- Craft and articulate a clear and concise message
- Positive attitude – positivity and sense of humor are most important in setting a strong foundation
- Maintain resume, bio, CV and/or portfolio regularly
- Keep copies of performance reviews, awards, articles, presentations
- Create history of track record – “scrapbook” of talents & accomplishments
- Obtain references, quotes, testimonials and other relevant credentials
- Serve on committees and boards – professionally and personally
- Expand your network and enhance your visibility
- Be well read and stay current in your field, continued learning
- Create key alliances and partnerships – align with people you admire/respect
- Strong communication, active listening and interpersonal skills
- Be concise and assertive – clearly articulate your desires, value add, “brand”
- Practice your delivery again and again and again……..and again
- Maintain give and take approach – practice professional etiquette
- Be pro-active and strategic with your efforts to be visible – think big picture
- Be your own advocate & know when to reach out to key contacts for support
- Never burn any bridges – always leave positive impressions!
- Deliver it with the UTMOST CONFIDENCE -.CONFIDENCE is how it all comes together – your preparation, your packaging and presentation!!
Practicing these “3 P’s” are effective techniques for establishing your personal brand and marketing yourself resulting in a more fulfilling and focused career. Remember, the best person to manage your career is you, and the best person to market your talents, accomplishments and value is you!
Last, but not least, when practicing the “3 P’s”, do not limit your efforts internally within your organization. Be sure to incorporate external initiatives – reach your efforts outside of your organization with equal importance. The venues you should take into account include your team, function, organization, business, industry, profession, media, community, academics, professional associations, family, friends, and other social groups.
Once you create an effective branding and marketing outlook, you will find it to be a natural process that you do not even realize you have engaged. Once you change your mindset and embrace this concept as a powerful way of achieving self-actualization – knowing your value, setting goals that allow you to do what brings you the most passion and achieving a higher sense of accomplishment, then you have mastered the art of personal branding and marketing yourself!