What is personal branding?
“A personal brand is your story,” says Entrepreneur.com. “It is the culmination of what you do and what you stand for.”
Think of your brand as how you’re portrayed by colleagues, employers, peers or followers. It is the image or persona of how you want to be represented in your organization or the marketplace.
Excellent personal brands don’t just happen. They must be planned and executed. They must be practiced.
“Personal branding involves creating a particular view of yourself for a specific audience. We do this all the time without really thinking about it,” says Lisa Severy, a University of Phoenix career advisor. “Some people call it ‘curating’ — what you display to the world. The point is that we’re doing things purposefully to make a particular impression on our audience.”
You’re more than just a resumé, in other words, with a job history and a college transcript. You have a history. You have successes and failures. Triumphs and defeats.
All of this matters in personal branding. Why? Because it’s part of the story you’re curating, as Severy points out.
Your job is to use your story to your advantage. Make it work for you. Instead of letting others craft your career story, you should be the driving force.
Let’s see how this is done effectively in today’s job market.
1. Become an authority
If you want to succeed at work, school or life, you have to be intentional. The same goes for establishing your personal brand.
So, how do you craft the right personal brand? A great way is to establish yourself as an authority or expert in your field or at your company.
For instance, if you’re in marketing, become the best in one subset in that domain. If you like content marketing, be the person everyone goes to for content marketing. Build your skills, attend webinars and network with others in content marketing.
You’ll be surprised at how quickly others in your organization will seek you out for different projects.
If you take this approach, you will continue to hone your craft. You’ll also increase your visibility to senior managers who see and hear about your great work.
This is something I have seen firsthand in my own career. I’ve built up my skills at work and with a side business. I also earned an MBA and other certifications, and I’ve taken opportunities to put myself in front of senior executives at organization-wide staff meetings.