Last week we looked at the path to building your personal brand. Hopefully you have thought about what you want to be known for, and are starting to work through what that might look like for you. There are two more important building blocks to the personal brand journey that will help you significantly as you piece this critical part of your career together.
The first is to get a really clear picture on your current personal brand. The best way to find out what people think is to ask. Email ten or more of your friends, peers, past and present managers, clients, and business partners and ask them to answer the following questions:
Which five words would you use to describe me?
What are my greatest strengths?
What are my weaknesses or derailment factors?
What are my superpowers, those things that I do better than anyone else you know?
What do you think my career sweet spot is or could be?
When you get this information back, take a deep breath, and look for common themes, surprising comments, and how this collective view of your brand sits with your current personal view. Is the external perception close to where you want to be, or a long way away?
Were there strengths and superpowers highlighted that you weren’t aware of, or that you can really use to your advantage?
The second part of this journey is looking at how you take your brand to market – how you build your brand in markets you are in. Now don’t panic; that doesn’t mean you have to be out doing speaking engagements, writing articles for magazines, splashing yourself all over the internet or profiling yourself across town. They may be strategies you want to investigate, but that’s not all taking your brand to market means.
Let’s start small with these immediate steps:
Check your LinkedIn profile. With your fresh take on your personal brand and career goals, are you portraying yourself in the best possible light, highlighting your most relevant experience and covering the skills, knowledge and information that supports your brand and aspirations? Update your profile as needed to ensure you are using this powerful platform to your best advantage.
Check other social media. Are you being consistent with your brand across any other social media platforms you are using? Do a search and make sure you are, from your descriptive details to the posts you are making.
Where is your CV stored? Often in organizations your CV is kept on file in human resources, performance management databases, or high potential women files. Try and identify where old versions of your CV might be stored and see if you can update them to reflect your current career and brand status. Also think about any recruiters, agencies, or industry bodies that may have an old version of your CV or profile and reach out to get it updated.
Promoting your brand within your company. Look for opportunities within your current business to build social proof for your brand, and edge you toward the career goal you specified. Are their meetings you can attend, presentations you can give, brown bag lunches you can host, content you can write, and special projects you can put your hand up for? Ask your mentor and sponsor the most effective channels to promote yourself, and be of service.
Building your brand in the market. If you do have a goal to become more visible outside your company, then start to look for ways to promote yourself and your work. This could be starting a blog, hosting events or workshops, taking a leadership role with your industry association, publishing your thought leadership in industry magazines or websites, through to speaking engagements at events in your specialized area.
When it comes to your personal brand, think small, but also dream big. What would be the most courageous goal you could imagine to build your brand in your market? What would a dream engagement look like? What could it mean for your career aspirations?
Small is a good place to start, but don’t limit yourself to staying there if you want to play bigger.
For more on building your personal brand, make sure you get my latest book Lead Like A Woman – it covers everything you need to create an authentic, kick ass career and life. Haven’t got your copy of the book yet? Head over to Amazon and get yours today. You will also get access to around 15 free play sheets and guided visualisations to help you create real change for yourself. I think you’ll love it!
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