Over the July 12th weekend, Parade Magazine ran an article about personal branding. They gave a pretty good overview of the topic, highlighting what you need to do in order to brand yourself, such as:
- Define who you are (and who you aren’t)
- Become well known for one thing
- Communicate your brand
- Create a signature look
- Leave a personal mark behind
- Create a distinctive and unforgettable business card
Hmmm. A lot was squeezed into the small space of their article.
Defining who you are (and who you aren’t) takes a considerable amount of forethought. You need to have the right questions to ask yourself in order to really pull it out of you.
When I was in school, they asked us two questions that were supposed to help us figure out what we wanted to do as a career: What are you good at? and – What do you like to do?
Since I didn’t like blood and guts, I didn’t go into medicine. And since I didn’t like physics, I didn’t go into engineering. I liked business and math was “my subject”, so I ended up choosing accounting. (And, besides, the accountants were the only college grads who found jobs right after graduation at the time.)
No one thought to ask me in which environment I would like to work, nor did they ask me pertinent questions that would have lead to the answer to that very important question.
Over time, I figured out that that was a very important piece of information to find out about myself that would have lead to better choices earlier in my career. And it would have lead to better choices about my personal brand.
Back to the Parade article, becoming well known for one thing is nice on paper, but I think we need to develop several ”things” about ourselves and get known for all of them. How many? Around three to five, at least. (In the article, a few they suggest as your “one” are: Listener, Mentor, Funny, and Dependable. Guess what? I’m all four of those! I’m also efficient.)
Next, Parade jumps to communicating your brand. Perhaps the author was subjected to heavy editing for space – truly, there is a lot more work to do between defining who you are and communicating it. You need to know what your competition is doing and plan how you can come out on top. You need to analyze and redefine both your visual and verbal identities. Then you will have enough information to create a brand message. And once you have that brand message, you can figure out how to communicate it and get visible.
Creating a unique business card, starting a blog, and/or building a website about yourself come after you’ve done all of the personal branding “work”.
(Check out the other articles I’ve written about personal branding on Dave Saunders’ blog at this site!)
Does this make sense to you? Please reply by posting a comment!
Glory Borgeson is a business coach, author, and speaker.
Do you want some help developing your own personal brand? Glory has created the “Brand Yourself! Coaching Program”. It is a self-paced coaching program you can purchase directly from Borgeson Consulting. Since it is a self-paced coaching program, it is very affordable – less expensive than traditional coaching by telephone, and you complete it at your own pace.
The “Brand Yourself! Coaching Program” has 10 modules, taking you through each of the essential elements of personal branding.
Check it out on Glory’s website by clicking here.
Or call (630-653-0992)
or e-mail (info@BorgesonConsulting.com) to find out more about it.