Building a consistent personal brand can be quite an undertaking. A personal brand means many things to many people. To Jeff Bezos of Amazon, your personal brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room. I believe the personal brand is the intersection of what you’re great at, what you aspire to be and who you really are. A personal brand is rooted in you as a professional and as a person. Which all sounds perfectly wonderful… once it’s done.
To develop a strong personal brand, you need to know what you’re great at and what you aspire to be and overlay that with the characteristics that make you unique. A personal brand should be concise and easily understandable. Which is why it is often hard to craft. The challenge is that we are actually complex people in the professional world. So a statement of who you really are, what you’re great at, and what you aspire to be would tell an employer all they need to know seems tough in our 140 character world.
But it isn’t. Here’s the #1 shortcut:
Answer this question in less than 20 words: Why would you hire you?
Here’s my answer: Hire me because I use innovative, advanced digital marketing strategies to generate a strong return on investment. (17 words)
Now, take out the jargon and buzzwords to get closer to 10 words.
Revised answer: Hire me because my strategies generate a positive ROI (9 words)
Ten words or twenty, it doesn’t matter, what does matter is that I am framing my personal brand into how I can achieve results for a prospective company. And that is the real shortcut. Your personal brand should focus on what you do, who you are and what you aspire to will solve their company’s problem. For a personal brand to stand out to a current or prospective employer, it is about solving their problems with my experience and personal brand strengths, experience, and results.
When you are working to frame your personal brand for a new role or a promotion, you must focus on the results you produced. You should have at the ready (if possible) accomplishments and results you’ve achieved. Because to be honest, results are most frequently the thing that gets noticed in hiring and promoting decisions.
Once you’ve defined your personal brand and framed it to be about solving a company’s problems, it is important to be sure that you are actively managing your personal brand. You need to be a steward of the brand. A brand manager is someone who consistently works to generate awareness, influence, and affinity all in an effort to continually build brand equity. In a nutshell, that is what a brand manager does. So, it’s important that you become the brand manager of you.
While this sounds like a full time endeavor, it isn’t, it simply takes thought and planning and before you know it, it is second nature. Earn equity in your personal brand by investing time in maintaining your personal brand. Brand equity can be something that you build, but the best brand equity is earned.
To be sure you are earning and maintaining your brand equity, spend time each quarter adding to your profiles. You should add new information to your LinkedIn profile and sharing great content in LinkedIn Groups. You should be updating your resume all the time. You should be storing your best work in a special folder on your computer in the cloud (via CredHive, Box or DropBox). You should be curating your best work somewhere so that you can continue to hone in on your brand.
Never forget that your personal brand is the intersection of what makes you unique, what you’re really good at, and what you aspire to be. When you frame those things for others in a way that shows you can solve a company’s problem, it is a winning personal brand indeed. But like any brand, it must be maintained. Spend the time taking care of this personal brand asset and taking the time to continually refine it. It will pay dividends to your career and your goals.
This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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