Personal branding is the powerful but simple concept that promotes everyone to the CEO position of themselves. Although the term has only been around for a little over a decade, the idea itself is probably as old as the first salesperson that discovered he wasn’t the only wheel maker. Yet personal branding may be more relevant today than ever. Why? Because most marketplaces are no longer local and the competition for a product or service now requires survival tactics.
Understanding the keys to building your personal brand begins with creating an image and more than a little passion. Knowing your skills, strengths, values and goals is the foundation of solid personal brand construction. When the right elements are in place, your brand is visible, unique and a reflection of your authentic self.
There are infinite ways to grow your personal brand once it’s been established, but only a short list of essential keys to ensuring successful results and maximizing your potential:
- Explore your own truths. Building a strong personal brand demands an honest assessment of what you have to offer. It’s about knowing your weaknesses as intimately as you know your strengths and assets. It’s as much about spending the time to analyze what you are not willing to do to achieve success as it is commiting to an agenda that you know you can and will follow.
- Be original. The definition of personal branding stems from the theory that there is something different about our unique blend of talent, personality and principles. Make a list of all the creative things that sets you and your brand apart from everyone else. Finding a niche you know you can fill better than your competitors do is the beginning of making a name for yourself.
- Perfect your skills. Keeping the mindset of a student of your craft can be an invaluable tool to a winning brand. Very few marketable skills remain stagnant in any business or service industry. Staying open to the fact that there is always something new to learn or a way to improve what you offer will keep you competitive and at the top of your game.
- Establish credibility. Become an expert in your given field by aspiring to know more about what you do than anyone else doing the same thing. Position yourself as a source of information and be willing to share that knowledge. Create a reliable and credible personal brand that makes you the authority among your peers or colleagues.
- Remain open to new ideas. Understand the critical concept of change management. Many markets are in a constant state of evolution and changing faster than we can write about it. Good personal branding means staying true to your own core identity. However, it also means being flexible enough to make adjustments and explore new developments as inevitable changes occur.
- Know your audience. Build your brand to attract your special audience. As simple as it may seem, it is often overlooked during the formative stages of brand building. Do your own research and learn what customers or clients want and need. Find out what price points, services and ideas they respond to and how you fit into the picture. Never assume that mastering your skill or product automatically makes you a marketing expert. Investing the necessary time to become one will pay off immediately and in the long run.
- Act with integrity. One of the most notable characteristics of the best personal brands are those built on the golden rule. They become quality brands through consistency and honesty. It will always be advantageous to honor commitments, respect the rules and treat others fairly. And whether that personal brand belongs to a scientist, plumber or engineer, they understand the irreplaceable value of the image their personal brand projects.
Maurisa Westbury is Chief Training Strategist for OnlineTraining2Go an e-learning solutions company specializing in providing computer based training via the Internet for individuals, small to medium sized businesses and the association market. OnlineTraining2Go offers an extensive catalog with over 2500 topics. The company also offers career coaching, FREE teleseminars and webinars related to career developement and personal growth. If you’re ready to reinvent yourself, get noticed and move to the next level in your career get your FREE report on career advancement and success now HERE