We are always thinking about our next professional step. Personal and professional growth is a basic human need - it makes life so exciting. But few of us have a clear method to do so. Most of us use the trial and error version. Not knowing where you end up can be very exciting, but it's not always fulﬁlling. It can leave us with a feeling of unused potential, and without a link between our strategy and our personality. Related: There’s No ‘I’ In Personal Brand We all know at least one teacher who shouldn't be a teacher because he doesn't have patience; one doctor without empathy, one sales person without communication skills, and one HR person without people skills. After having worked with more than 1,800 participants from more than 60 countries in my workshops, I have learned that most professionals are not taking enough time to position themselves and underestimate Aristotle's thinking in boxes. We tend to turn our back on our own big ideas that spring out of our personality, but those are vital. An unbiased picture of our faults and virtues is the key to clearly deﬁne how we add value, socially and economically. This picture is the link between strategy and personality. Here is a framework for an effective change process for your professional positioning strategy:
The personal brand is an underestimated necessity for every professional. It helps you bring in great opportunities and reach your goals. While most people think about business branding, we should be smart and work on our own personal brand a much as we can. Related: How To Create A Personal Brand Without Being A Jerk Since you are reading this article, there is a pretty good chance that you already started building your personal brand. Although all brand aspects are important, make sure you understand the strategy tips that we mention below before you start thinking about everything. Although the big moves are those that will count the most, you do need to take care of the small things, too (i.e.Facebook photos). Here's a step-by-step guide for building your personal brand:
1. Understand Why You Build Your Personal BrandThis is the first thing that you have to do. You will need some time to figure out exactly what your goals are and what you want to accomplish. A good exercise to help you out is to write down reasons why you accomplished different tasks in the past. For instance, why did you choose this domain? Why did you choose the company that you work at? Go through these “whys” and eventually, you will see why you want to build a personal brand.
2. Determine What Makes You Stand OutAfter you understand why you want to build a personal brand, it is time to see what makes you different when compared with other specialists in your field. You need to stand out for all the proper reasons. This can be the difference between failure and success. For instance, your services might be cheaper. Maybe you are better at your job. Maybe you manage to finish tasks faster. Do not force traits, but if you find them, use every bit of information in your overall personal branding strategy.
3. Network With The Right PeopleWhen we build our personal brands, we often think solely about us; without taking the time to understand how important networking is. In order to establish yourself as a high-end personality, you need to be seen with people that are in the same niche, people that have a high authority. This works in both real life and in your online presence. Being connected with authority figures in your field will help you get credibility.
4. Make A Great First ImpressionAny type of branding is about communicating what you are all about to your target audience. Unfortunately, many end up communicating their brand improperly. For instance, let us say that you are a tech blogger and you have your own popular tech blog. You cannot market yourself simply as a tech blogger. You need to make yourself stand out. Let us say you have an affinity for Apple products. In that case, the first impression you have to make is that of a tech blogger who is specialized in Apple products. That creates a niche in itself and you stand out. People will start to know you as the Apple guy (or something similar). Think about what makes you special in your industry and try to highlight that.
5. Never Rebuild – RearrangeWhen you create your new brand, you will probably want to start from scratch. Never take this approach. You should never try to start creating a new personal brand from nothing because you probably already have access to something that can be used as a foundation. Never rebuild your personal or professional life in order to fit a specific image. These should be separated. The brand you build should express what you are. Since you are already a unique individual, there's no need to start from scratch. Find what is unique, repackage it, then sell it. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
Related PostsThe Perfect Recipe For A Great Personal Brand 3 Steps To An Outstanding Personal Branding Statement 3 Examples Of Great Personal Branding Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Creating Your Personal Brand Statement...A great way is to develop your brand, then write a resume incorporating a quality personal branding statement that solidly defines your role as an expert IT professional.
What's A Personal Brand?A personal brand is not unlike a brand used by a company to associate a product with a business. For instance, in order help customers remember the McDonald’s company name, owners developed Ronald McDonald, who represented a fun way for people to identify the company, its name, and its food. Many professionals have searched for similar ways to make their names synonymous with a specific field or job position, which they’ve been able to accomplish by creating a personal brand. As an IT professional, a personal brand can ensure that others quickly associate your name with your specific role in the world of information technology—so when a person says, “I’m looking for a quality programmer, developer, and so on,” someone can immediately say, “I know the perfect person: [insert your name here]!”
Branding Yourself In Your IT ResumeThere are a number of ways to brand yourself as a specialized IT professional. One of the easiest is by using the Internet. By setting up professional profiles that incorporate your title and resume/bio via sites such as LinkedIn and Google Plus you can effectively associate your name with your field. But if you’re actively applying for jobs, another way to brand yourself is by creating a branding statement. This statement is used to define a product similarly to a company’s use of branding to define its products. The only difference is that the product is you. Here are a couple of great examples of branding statements you might use as an IT professional:
- APPLICATIONS DEVELOPER with 10 years of success developing, testing, implementing, and enhancing numerous applications to meet and exceed diverse business objectives.
- NETWORK ADMINISTRATOR with eight years of experience managing hardware and software, providing expert troubleshooting and problem resolution, and utilizing a diverse technical skill set to successfully manage shifting business priorities.