How to develop a robust personal brand identity to progress your career
Anya Marie, Career Branding Coach, explains why it’s vital to develop a robust personal brand identity to progress your career. Anya explains how having a clear and consistent personal brand helps employees and job seekers to become recognised, leading to a greater network of contacts, opportunities and career advancement.
Watch the recorded session below for added colour to the summary below.
What is personal branding?
"Personal Branding is the process in which we market ourselves to others."
If you have a name and a social footprint, you have a personal brand. A powerful personal brand allows you to represent yourself as an expert and a trustworthy personality in your niche or given profession.
The question is not “Do I need a personal brand?”, but “How do I manage my personal brand?”
Applying for a job
The job market is more competitive than ever. Hiring managers are short on time, and hiring is not always their number one focus.
By using proper Personal Branding techniques and setting yourself apart from the crowd, you are not just making yourself memorable, but you are also positioning yourself to be hired.
By having your Personal Brand already established you are proving that not only do you want the job, but you are also doing the hard work it takes to get the job. A candidate who has consistently and strategically built up their Personal Brand has more to bring to the table, then someone who relies solely on their CV.
Advancing your career
By keeping your brand current and relevant, you are showing decision-makers and peers that you are open for internal opportunities. You don't know who could be looking at your website or your LinkedIn.
How do you define your Personal Brand?
There are three key steps that help define your personal brand.
1. Define Aspirations Firstly you need to be intentional about where you want to go. Where do you see yourself in five year’s time? What is your main goal?
Look back at what you have accomplished and look forward to consider what you want to achieve. Decide what you want to be known for and how you want to be known. If you weren’t in the room, how would someone be describing you?
2. Determine your Unique Value Proposition Look at your Skills (Hard and Soft skills), Talents (What comes easy to you), and Passions (What are you naturally drawn to?)
Take a go at completing your own Unique Value Proposition by filling in the blanks in this sentence:
"I use my natural talents of .... and ....skills to have an impact in the ....industry"
3. Communicate your Brand There are various online and offline channels through which you can communicate your personal brand.
Your personal brand statement comes across on mediums such as your cover letter, CV and LinkedIn. In your personal brand statement you want to communicate your vision, your UVP, sell your work experience and establish clearly what you want to achieve and where you see yourself.
You communicate online on social media such as Twitter, Blogs, etc. Ideally you’d use more professional channels suitable for your area of interest. For instance, if you’re focused on a role in a corporate then you’re not going to worry about having a professional presence on Facebook.
And then there is offline branding such as at networking opportunities, both internal and external to your company. When thinking about offline branding, you should: 1. Be intentional – share your visions, let people know what sets you apart.2. Leverage you networks – create and nurture networks, being mindful of the people you are associating with.3. Stay informed – anticipate future needs of the industry you’re in or targeting.4. Follow up – always focus on what you can do for others, not what they can do for you.
“Networking is marketing. Marketing yourself, your uniqueness, marketing what you stand for.” Christine, Comaford-Lynch
Consistency is key
Using both online and offline is key to long-term career success. By combining the two approaches you bring your brand full circle, increasing your visibility and bringing more attention to your personal brand.
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND is what you put on the table in front of employers. When you meet people, whether you like it or not, they form an opinion of you, so if you don’t show them your own brand, they’ll make one for you. Giving people your brand will help them to shape their opinion of you and how you want it to be.
Connect with Anya on LinkedIn.