There is a lot of buzz these days on personal brand. Personal brand is NOT image management, this is not manipulating people to think something (true or untrue) about you. Personal branding is authentic and is true for you in your personal life and your professional life.
First, the definition I like for personal brand is:
” Personal brand is your promise to people (potential employer, coworkers, current customers). A well done personal brand will differentiate you from others – identifying your unique gifts. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, who people perceive you to be, and what contributions you can make.”
Personal branding has gained popularity recently due to:
a) blurred lines between personal and professional lives offline and online
b) new world of work job marketplace necessitates the need to be phenomenal at something and known for it
c) typical working professional will change jobs/employers up to 13 times before age 38
Blow My Own Horn – No Way
Most people are NOT comfortable marketing themselves, selling any product, and even less comfortable selling themselves. Drop that notion. Personal branding when done correctly is more about helping others than selling yourself.
If you are good at what you do, then you need to connect with others so you can communicate to your target audience how you can help them. Your target audience, customers, employer – they all truly need you. You are giving yourself fully to them, doing what you do best (reducing patient days using medical nutrition therapy; reducing weight loss relapse using cutting edge behavioral techniques; raising customer service scores by integrating employee empowering techniques) so they can achieve and even surpass their goals.
Use Your Unique Gifts to Serve Others
What separates you from everyone else? This is a key question to answer for yourself as you begin to purposefully brand yourself. What is unique about how you accomplish your work?
Often your personal brand attributes are found in ‘how’ you accomplish things. How do you solve problems or prevent them or inspire others in order to get the work accomplished?
Personal Branding Process
There are 4 stages for comprehensive personal branding development. The stages are:
1, Discover Personal Brand – unravel a client’s life stories to find the themes that make them uniquely who they are, uncover their true strengths and gifts – where if they focus they will go way beyond where others have gone.
2. Develop Personal Brand – develop clarity on what they want their authentic personal brand to be and how it is being perceived currently (360 Reach Assessment); and how their gifts are valued in the marketplace.
3. Communicate Personal Brand – develop actions online and offline to serve others using their defined gifts through their personal brand developed in stage 2. Typically these actions take for form of a communications plan including volunteering, projects to get involved in, speaking engagements to pursue, targeted social media involvement, LinkedIn profile, powerful and branded resume and more.
4. Evaluate and Maintain – true for any business practice, evaluation and adjustment to improve on what works is key. This guarantees a strong and powerful personal brand that will bring fulfillment in work the client was meant to do.
A reality is we all have personal brands. Every person, whether a food, nutrition or culinary professional; high school student or toddler – everyone has a personal brand. It is up to you to discover your authentic personal brand and take actions to develop and communicate it to soar in your professional work so you can fulfill your potential, your greatness that is meant to be.