A couple of questions for you.
- Has your career reached a plateau, but you believe you have more to offer?
- Have you gotten into a repetitive cycle in your career that you think it’s impossible to break out of?
- Are you just starting out in the workforce and are uncertain how to present yourself?
- Would you like to start down a path to help change all that?
Up until now you may only have thought about your reputation. Taking pride in the work you’ve done, and the ideals you follow. These are important things and core components to help you build your personal brand.
What is Personal Brand?
So you’ve heard about this "personal branding" thing while reading news and the blogs you follow. Obviously, it’s an important component to gen X or Y crowd, but how does it affect you? As much as you want it to! You are a brand, not unlike your favorite soft drink, automobile manufacturer, or candy bar. You have the same potential to create interest and buzz around yourself and what you can do.
I like to call personal branding "reputation 2.0". We all know what our reputation is. Why not bring some social media aspects to the table and formulate a strategy? Personal branding is about reaching out to the community or industry that you are a part of. Interacting with it, and making sure that people know where and how to reach you. This simply leverages your current abilities and makes you more visible to others in your field.
Not an Ego Trip
Personal branding is not about building a "look at me" page. Rather, it is about creating a brand that is recognized for what you are. To leverage your strengths, whether that is technical, people-oriented, or whatever. Building your brand is meant to bring you further into your industry as an authority or expert in an area. It’s meant to help you reach the next level, and grow in your life, not just your career.
One thing to understand, as well, is the amount of work involved in creating your brand is the time commitment. You need to become your own marketer, writer, idea person, and coach. It requires that you reach out to your community and add value. Help people, talk about things that are important or relevant in your industry, come up with innovative ideas. Become a person that people look forward to interacting with. Be the go-to person that makes things happen.
There are numerous rewards for this, from additional opportunities in your career, to a new discovery of yourself. Building your personal brand also allows you to dig into your psyche and rediscover lost ideas and dreams that you may have set aside years ago. Your brand is about more than your career, it’s about becoming the best you that you can be.
There is a growing number resources online to help you find ways to build your brand. Many of them are tried and true methods that you can get started on without spending much (if anything). Also, I invite you to contact me directly if you have questions, I’d love to help answer whatever I can on the topic. My email is found in the sidebar under "Contact Me", or leave a comment below!
Photo credit: danes96