Who are you? 5 Steps to Crafting your Personal Brand

"We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You,” writes Tom Peters in The Brand Called You. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a C-suite executive or a new force to be reckoned with in the working world, you need a personal brand. This isn’t about catchy slogans and slick logos; in fact, good branding never is. This is about defining your unique voice that accurately and consistently conveys who you are and what you have to offer. Cultivating your personal brand can benefit your business. People gravitate to people, not corporate entities. Putting a face to the business is a marketing boost! Your personal brand, however, is also about selling yourself. If you’ve got your eye on a promotion or a career move, establishing your expertise and defining your own voice to express it can go a long way. Now the question is, how do you do it? Start with these 5 steps:

1. Soul searching.

Before you can build a brand, you need to determine what it is. This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself. Center your goals on where you want to go. Define your brand on where you are. What are your strengths? What’s your expertise? Flesh those points out with bits of your personality. You may be a rock star at accounting, but you’ve got even more to offer. Are you known for your levelheaded ability to work through stressful situations? Do you possess a keen knack of navigating the details or are you better at viewing the big picture? Most importantly, be you. Authenticity sells.

2. Get out there…and be consistent with it.

The world has gotten a lot smaller with the advent of social media. If you don’t already have a presence on platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn, get one. Post often and share links to relevant industry or professional articles. Tweet quotes that reflect your personal philosophies. Communicate who you are to others by how you operate in the social media realm. Remember that even your personal social media profiles can come into play. A good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it out loud in the office breakroom, don’t say it on Facebook. Audit your social media profiles – even those personal accounts. Make sure your contract information and your professional experience are up to date.

3. Speak and write.

Have something to say? Say it. Pitch yourself for speaking opportunities. Volunteer to be a mentor or presenter on a topic related to your expertise. Classes, youth activities, and industry groups offer a plethora of opportunities! Guest write a blog post, or better yet, create your own blog. Be heard!

4. Network.

This point cannot be stressed enough. Connect with other people: in your field, your industry, and others who may have influence. Don’t just post online, engage. Comment on others’ posts. Retweet and share. Reach out to those you want to be noticed by, as well as those who already have an established brand of their own that complements yours. Join professional networking groups. Be able to articulate your personal brand message succinctly at any time; you never know when you’re going to meet the person who will change the trajectory of your career.

5. Get help.

You already have your own personal brand, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to easily hone in on what it is or how to express it. If tackling this task seems overwhelming, get help. A coach can help you whittle through the noise and solidify your message. We offer a free 15 minute collaborative interview to help you evaluate our program options. Contact us today!