Many people are uncertain about how to uncover and articulate their brand, and skeptical about whether they should bother. They think that personal branding is just a recent phenomenon and it will soon go away.
Personal branding is going nowhere. The phrase may be somewhat new, but the concept of differentiating yourself from the competition is a long proven ingredient in the recipe for career success.
As you work to define and maintain your personal brand, use these five qualities as the test of a solid brand.
- A corporate brand appears the same to you and me all the time, no matter where in the world you’re viewing it from. Your personal brand should be just as consistent and memorable across all social media and internet-based platforms, and also in face-to-face meetings.
- Eliminate complexity from your messaging. Keep it reasonably short, to fortify the impact to the reader and each person you meet. Use unique and creative words that can elevate the impact to the recipient, but keep your language simple enough that people don’t miss out on or lose touch with your messaging.
- Don’t confuse your brand with what you are renowned for at work. Your personal brand statement encompasses your interests in both your personal and professional life, in particular your areas of expertise and skill.
- Just like a corporation, you have to live up to your personal brand and bounce back from inevitable challenges. Be quick to defend your brand if you experience an issue that could appear negative to somebody who could be an influencer in your career. Digital dirt cannot be completely eliminated, but it can be displaced by positive sentiments if you know how to handle the social media platforms and make them work for you.
- Are the images, text and other elements of your personal branding materials making the impact you want to make online and offline? Consider your social media profiles; the status updates, links and images you share; your resume, references list, and cover letter template; your business card; your outgoing voicemail message, and your attire.
Defining your personal brand is no longer optional, it is an integral part of career management. You must exude your personal brand in everything you do, and to everyone you meet.