Date Added: April 2009
Note: This article appeared in the April 19, 2009 issue of The Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Personal branding is the self-packaging of you. Like products or services, we are created to be unique. You should be aware of your personal brand and how to effectively market yourself to others.
What makes you different and how do you market yourself to others? Whether you currently work at an organization or are searching for a job, you’ll want to differentiate yourself though personal branding.
Branding is unavoidable as everyone has a perception of you – even if they’ve never met you. You must be proactive to ensure their perception is accurate.
Personal branding consists of: (1) Discover, (2) Develop and (3) Deliver. Discover may be the most important as it relates to self-awareness. What makes you unique? What 3 adjectives describe you? What 3 adjectives would others use to describe you?
Discover includes internal and external reflection by understanding your strengths, passions, and personal and professional goals. Take evaluations such as the StrengthsFinder, Meyers-Briggs, DISC or others. Ask others what they think of you and how they describe you (perceptions are reality).
Once completing the “Discover” step, review information and look for consistencies (good and bad). Then, “Develop” your personal brand statement. Similar to a personal mission statement, it should be the answer to “who are you and what do you do?”
Be transparent and authentic as you are who you are. Your statement should be clear on who you are and who you aren’t. If you’re not a fun person, don’t make this part of your brand.
Finally, “Deliver” your personal brand. This can be done at networking events, volunteer activities, social networking, etc. This article helps deliver my personal brand.
Delivery is vital, as if not delivered well; your brand could have a negative effect. For example, “excellence” is part of my personal brand. When delivered well, I can be inspirational, helping teach and improve others. When delivered poorly, I can be arrogant, judgmental and de-motivating.
Remember, perception is reality, so consistently market the positive attributes of your brand. Executed well, the result is personal and professional satisfaction.