Today’s topic is “I have no idea on personal branding.”
What is personal branding?
And you can ask a hundred different people, and they’ll give you a sort of a hundred slightly different answers. But generically, it’s the process of defining and promoting what you stand for. Now, everybody on this planet is totally different. People don’t understand what their differentiator is. So, it’s defining that differentiator. What makes you stand apart from Mary, Mark, or Paul, who may be in the same job race as you? They’ve applied for the same job, but why should I, if I was in a hiring position, choose you over Mary, Mark, or Paul, the other candidate? So, it’s a differentiator. We’re all different. You need to understand what is your differentiator. What is your value add? So many people don’t know their value. So, we people fail to sell themselves properly. I mean, when you go into a job search race, you are selling. You have nothing to do with the supply chain and nothing to do with finance or any other function. You are selling yourself. So, you need to get into the sales mode. What is your differentiator? What is your value add? Very important. Everybody has value, and so many people undersell themselves when they come to salary negotiations, or they even take a hit in good recruiting times like we are now because they want to get another job, but they don’t need to go down. You can go level, or you can go up. What is your competitive edge?
Now, think about, well, why, if I was going to go for an interview, why should somebody employ me over all the other candidates? So, what is my differentiator? What is my value add? Not monetarily wise, but it’s also the value, the skills, etc. The money he gets comes into it, the money, but the value you bring, but your skills that everybody has different skills, and you need to highlight those in all your conversations and on your resume, your CV, and on your LinkedIn profile. So, you need to articulate your personal brand everywhere you go. Your differentiator, why should I, if I were in a hiring position, choose you over Mary, Mark, or Paul? What is your competitive edge? How are you perceived by others?
So, this is a good question to ask people in your family, maybe not your spouse, you might get a different answer, but people in your family, acquaintances, colleagues, ex-colleagues, or other people in your network, to ask them, well, what do you think I am? What do you think is my brand, my value add, and what is my differentiator? So, give some thought to that because what are you perceived, and you’re going to get a whole wealth of information on what people perceive you as. And then you can document it and sort it and collate it and understand it. And then, if you want to go back to those people, you know, you can ask them, well, why did you say I was this? Why did you say I was that? So, this could be a great educational piece. So, when you’re defining and learning about your personal brand, you are also going to learn a lot about yourself, and that’s very important. The more you know yourself, the better it’s going to be for you, not just for the company.
You need to learn yourself, your value, your differentiator, and how are you perceived. In a nutshell, personal branding increases your credibility and increases your value to an employer. Make sure you, when you come to draft and then articulate your personal brand, it’s very powerful. It’s very resonating. It seduces that defined audience where you should be networking. It’s a resonating impression, and it improves your credibility because we all have credibility, but that goes hand in hand with your value and your differentiator. So, what is your credibility? It connects you to your target audience.
When I’m coaching people about their careers and job search, in particular, don’t be like this, you need to be very defined in your audience, and where you want to go because executive recruiters don’t want you to be like this. Well, this, they want you to be very, very narrow, and then they can pinpoint you into slots that their clients have when their projects become available.
Those people who market themselves this way could be in a career transition or job search for a long, long time. But those people who are very narrow, and if that doesn’t work out like the bullseye, then you go to the outer circle, and then you go to the next circle out, but that is part of your personal brand.
What is your differentiator? You need to understand what in your industry, in your profession, that people perceive you, what do they understand? What do they talk about you? What, when you’re out of the room? That’s very important. If you were to lead a business meeting and you left that business meeting to take a call or something, what would your peers remaining at that business meeting say about you personally, not business-wise, but personally, after you left that meeting? It connects you with your target audience.