Branding is generally a term that is associated with how companies market themselves and their products/services to differentiate them from their competitors. However, branding can also apply to individuals. If you want to stand out professionally to land promotions or job offers, you must have a clearly defined brand – i.e., the traits, skills, and other factors that make you different from others. Here is what you need to know about personal branding:
Authenticity is Key
Personal branding is not about developing a fake persona and putting it out to the world, but rather taking what is unique about yourself and actively highlighting it to others. Authenticity should be the key to your personal brand. Focus on your innate strengths and build your brand from there, as opposed to deciding who you want to or should be and trying to fake it.
Your Core Values Should Form the Foundation
As you define your personal brand, your core values should form the foundation of it. Brainstorm what factors are most influential in your decision-making. Examples of core values include integrity, dependability, innovation, conscientiousness, respect, boldness, etc. Narrow down your most important core values and build your brand around them.
Craft a Story to Tell
Make your personal brand known to others by being able to define and explain it succinctly. Among the most effective methods of conveying your brand is to craft a story to tell. What is the narrative of your career? Where did you start, and how did you get to where you are now? What are examples of how you have acted out your core values? What are some instances that demonstrate how you are different from others? Be prepared with a story to tell, so when anyone asks you, “Tell me about yourself,” you can communicate your personal brand effortlessly.
It is Crucial to Cultivate Consistent Awareness
Repetition is necessary to make others recognize and remember your personal brand. Be diligent about cultivating consistent awareness by taking every opportunity possible to get your brand in front of others. Post on social media, interact in discussions, write blog posts, give a presentation, etc. to continually solidify your brand. Act and make decisions in accordance with your brand – use your core values as guidance for every professional goal you set or interaction you participate in to organically build a strong personal brand.
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