Personal Branding

By January 9, 2012 Career, Networking One Comment

You may think that Personal Branding has nothing to do with you but read on and consider whether you can afford to ignore it!

What is a Personal Brand and why do I need one?

A Personal Brand is the thought or expectation that comes into someone’s head when they think of you, writes Dawn Winder, a communication coach. It is the powerful way that you express what you stand for – your vision, values, beliefs, skills, passions and attributes.

Personal Branding is about what makes you unique.

In marketing terms it is your unique selling point or USP. It relates to how people view you, what you project to others, and their perception of you. So why would you need a Personal Brand in your career or business? Let’s look at how the celebrities do this to maintain their personal success to really understand what is transferable to the everyday world!

Celebrities are increasingly turning themselves into brands, using their fame to succeed in business or attract lucrative advertising deals. Whether they are selling underwear or leading a charity campaign, they are in demand because, just like a top brand of trainers or a leading mobile phone, they are instantly recognisable.

According to personal branding consultant Gabriella Goddard, celebrities build up their brands by sticking to a few key attributes they want to be known for and making sure everything they do reinforces the image. She says: “Through circumstance you gain visibility and from there you create recognition. And if you are consistent, the brand comes across. Whatever your brand is, you need to paint everything you do with that brush.” For celebrities, this includes being careful what products you let yourself be associated with.

Personal Branding in your career

In “normal” careers, working on your personal brand can gain dividends in terms of business success or climbing the corporate ladder. This does not mean you need a brand name, branded stationary or advertising about yourself, just a clear idea in your own mind of how you want to be seen.

If you can put across a clear message about what “talents” you are “selling”, you are more likely to be hired or promoted. When you write your CV understand and emphasize your talents. Make it obvious what they are by being explicit.

Ms Goddard says it is important to decide what makes you different and what you want to be known for. Then you can concentrate on making sure everyone associates you with those qualities.

You might want to be seen as a stylish and innovative artist, or as an authoritative and decisive manager. It is a good idea to focus on any particular area of expertise you have, or anything you are passionate about. If you are not sure what you are valued for, ask for feedback from friends and colleagues to find out how others see you. Keeping your skills hidden will not lead to new opportunities. Work out with your boss or mentor how you can maximise your talents.

Top Tips for branding
  • Networking, building contacts in other departments and companies.
  • Joining trade organisations to gain credibility and recognition.
  • Writing pieces for trade journals in your field of expertise to help promote yourself whenever you can.
  • Start showcasing work and building a fan base on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook.
  • Taking part in charity events, gaining publicity through local media, doing work experience and voluntary work. It is important to act professionally, with business cards at the ready, and to dress the part.

For help on working on your Personal Brand, please get in touch.

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