Thursday, February 19, 2015

Personal Branding…What Is It And Why Should I Care?



I frequently share information to help my clients improve their Personal Branding.  I was recently asked to explain what I mean by Personal Branding. 

Here’s a Wikipedia definition for Personal Branding: 

“Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands.”
I’ve run into many introverted people who have responded to me as if I’m talking about something evil when I mention Personal Branding.  If one’s approach to Personal Branding is disingenuous and if the branding is driven by slick, fancy and gimmicky techniques, this would be the approach to Personal Branding that might be perceived as evil or over the top.

When handled correctly, Personal Branding can be a highly intelligent career development strategy.

A CISO recently came to me to discuss his Personal Brand.  I don’t have to convince this CISO that he has a Personal Brand. He is well aware of the fact that he has a brand and he wants to proactively and strategically position his brand.

He asked for assistance to create a resume that speaks at a board room level.  He wants his LinkedIn presence to project the same message.  He wants assistance to get booked for the right speaking engagements and he is interested in becoming a book author.  

What Does It Mean to Position One’s Personal Brand

Resume

Whether you think you have a Personal Brand or not, you do.  Your resume is an element of your brand.  If your resume is clean, clear and logical and it requires no interpretation on the part of the resume’s audience, the first impression your resume makes is one that suggests that you might be an intelligent, articulate, logical candidate to interview.

If on the other hand, your resume is written in acronyms and abbreviations and requires an interpreter for your audience to understand what they're reading, the brand message you’re sending is that you might not be a strong communicator if you were to be invited to participate in an interview.

When you determine which message you want to project, you’re making a branding choice.

We all have the potential to be great at something.  You owe it to yourself and to those who receive your resume to discover what you have the potential to be great at and then build your resume around what you're great at delivering.  

Your interview audience will appreciate the opportunity to interview someone who knows what they're great at, who knows where they're going and who knows how they're going to get to their chosen destination.  Communicate like this and you will separate yourself from the crowd.

LinkedIn

At some point in the past, somebody introduced you to LinkedIn.  For some of you, you’ve figured out that LinkedIn has the potential to be a global electronic billboard for your Personal Brand.  If you’ve built your LinkedIn profile strategically and purposefully, you have created a brand or you've at least started to create a brand.

If on the other hand, your LinkedIn profile was built in 10 minutes 5 years ago and you haven’t touched it since, you’ve also created a brand.  Recruiters and potential employers are looking at your LinkedIn brand before you ever get a chance to send a resume.  They're making first impression decisions about you whether you know it or not.

Public Speaking, Blogging, Book Writing

If you get really serious about positioning your Personal Brand, you’ll look beyond your resume and your LinkedIn presence.  You’ll purposely seek out opportunities to speak on topics that align with your expertise.  You might write a blog or contribute to other’s blogs as a guest blogger.  You might even be ambitious enough to write a book.

Integrity in Branding

Personal Branding is not evil unless the person building their brand has bad intentions.  We all have a personal brand.  Some people have invested time to strategically position and purposely polish their brands while others have not.

A Personal Brand built to communicate what you’re great at, what you love to do and what you want to do more of moving forward is potentially a great idea.

A Personal Brand that lets the audience know what you’re great at in a matter of seconds is potentially helpful to the audience. 

A Personal Brand that is communicated clearly could open up opportunities for you that propel your career forward in a direction that can support you in your quest to achieve desired career moves.  

Alignment

Discover what you were built to do…what you have the potential to be great at when you align your work with your natural giftedness.  

Then build a Personal Brand that aligns with your giftedness. Let the world know how to tap into your giftedness so yo can produce great outcomes.  This is good! 

You’ll end up loving your work. You’ll increase your odds of experiencing lower stress and good health.  In some fields, you might even maximize your “Personal Stock Value”…what you’re paid for the great work you do.


Jeff Snyder’s, Security Career Coach, Security Leadership Coach, Security Recruiter Blog, 719.686.8810



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