Fast Track Your Career with Personal Branding - Abby Locke

Fast Track Your Career with Personal Branding

Understanding the Importance of Personal Branding

Your personal brand helps you to:

1. Prosper as a free agent.

Your personal brand is your reputation and it’s the way others see you.

If you’re like most people, you may be considering switching jobs and employers soon.

Your personal brand is an asset you can take with you wherever you go.

2. Chart your own direction.

Your brand will help you to establish goals, priorities and action plans. Even while taking care of daily obligations, you’ll have a bigger picture in mind.

3. Serve others.

Self promotion can go too far, so it’s easy to think that branding is somehow vain or self-absorbed.

In reality, your personal brand shows the positive impact you can have on other people (employers) and the world around you.

Defining Your Own Personal Brand

These tips will help you create an outstanding personal brand:

1. Take an inventory.

Take a good look at yourself. Write out your strengths and weaknesses.

Identify your passions. Think about what you’re good at and what you like to do.

2. Distinguish yourself from your colleagues.

There are plenty of talented and dependable people in every field. Pinpoint your unique selling points.

3. Talk about benefits, not just features.

Let your target audience know what you can do for them. Explain how you can boost profits by increasing sales or saving money.

4. Summarize your mission in 30 seconds or less.

Be prepared to capture people’s attention quickly. Let them know what you do in 15 words or less.

You can tell you’re on the right track when they ask for more details.

5. Ask for feedback.

Survey your family, friends, customers and colleagues to find out what they think of you and your abilities.

Be receptive to constructive criticism and feedback so they’ll keep sharing it with you.

6. Stay updated and current.

Review your personal mission statement every six months. Make new action plans so you’re always getting closer to your goals.

Marketing Your Personal Brand

Use these strategies to expand your reach:

1. Increase your visibility.

Post fresh content on your website or blog or LinkedIn account regularly and stay active in social media.

Look for opportunities to teach classes, give presentations, deliver signature talks or write articles in your field.

2. Build buzz, excitement and curiosity

Collect samples of positive feedback you get in the workplace. Assemble testimonials from happy clients and encourage them to make referrals.

Look for the themes, common words, adjectives and phrases that show up time and time again.

Word of mouth is often more effective and certainly cheaper than paid advertising.

3. Tell your success stories.

Craft brief anecdotes about your accomplishments that showcase your skills and make you proud.

Rehearse telling them so you sound natural and enthusiastic. Storytelling is powerful and a big part of personal branding.

4. Monetize your contribution.

Numbers sound convincing. Try to quantify the value you can deliver as much possible.

Use facts like dollars, percentages, breadth, scope, timeliness or turnaround time.

5. Put together a dream team.

It’s difficult to go it alone. Cultivate your network and nurture reciprocal relationships.

Help others to market their brand and they’re more likely to do the same for you.

Branding used to be just for big corporations, but now everyone can benefit from leveraging their personal brand.

Take charge of your personal brand to achieve more career success and guide your life in a direction that is meaningful for you.