What strategies do successful companies use that you could borrow to elevate your career prospects? They use clever ways to let their customers know how they add great value to their lives. This is called “branding.”
Here are a few excellent examples:
• Geico’s cute little gecko saying, ““15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
• Apple offering products that not only have innovative technology but also the “cool” factor.
• Publix’s heart-warming TV spots that show how our products are incorporated into the most special family moments in our customers’ lives.
So how can you “Brand You?” How can you fashion a clear message about the great value you offer to employers?
Personal branding has been around for more than a decade, but when so much is publicly visible on social media channels, it is more crucial than ever to be mindful of the image you project. Your brand is your reputation, so delivering it clearly and conveying what is unique and authentic about you, will leave a memorable impression and can open doors that might otherwise have remained closed. So protect and nurture your personal brand carefully, since it may someday mean the difference between getting and losing the job you want or missing out on a great business or personal opportunity.
The first step in personal branding is to ask yourself some probing questions: What is important to you? What are your strengths? What skills set you apart from the pack? What are you most passionate about? A great resource to help you address these and other great questions is a handy online workbook from PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dig deep and you’ll find what holds most meaning for you and what you have to offer. That’s “Brand You” in a nutshell.
Personal branding guru Dan Schwabel, suggests you’ve discovered your personal brand once this equation is true:
Your self-impression = How people perceive you
Once you’ve identified your brand, reflect it consistently. Be patient and deliver the same message over time. You can switch up words to remain fresh and relevant to the conversation, but the main message needs to remain the same. There are many channels for sharing your branding message, such as:
• On your LinkedIn Profile page
• In networking events, conferences, lectures and at other in-person events through use of your personal “elevator speech”
• In resumes and cover letters
• In your other Social Media profiles
• On your personal blog or website
You get the idea. The key is to use consistent messaging to reflect your brand. With authenticity.
When you embrace “Brand You,” the world has no choice but to embrace it as well. It may not fit the needs of that hiring manager or buyer or coach at that particular time and place. But chances are, they will remember and will respect what “Brand You” has to offer.
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