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Accelerate Your Career Now with a Brilliant Personal Branding Strategy

Working hard is no longer sufficient for career recognition and advancement. You must also be visible, esteemed, and strategically positioned. While it demands effort and time, crafting a personal brand is a necessary strategic tool. A strong personal brand can pave the way for new projects, promotions, and salary increases. It can also enhance your visibility, broaden your network, and generate new career opportunities.


Strong woman in executive clothes sitting down with attitude
Photo courtesy Gil at Unsplash

Personal Branding Strategy as an Employee


Building a personal brand as an employee is about being current in your industry and adapting to trends proactively. It's about becoming known for your unique skills, values, and personality traits. A strong personal brand can unlock countless advantages, including career advancements, salary enhancements, and a rewarding professional network.


So, what is a personal brand in the context of employment? It's the mix of your skills, experiences, values, and personality traits that distinguishes you from your peers. It's the essence of who you are as a professional.


Within my professional network, there is a remarkable colleague often referred to as the "Guru of Sales." What sets him apart is not just his proficiency in sales but also his innate passion for nurturing and guiding new sales associates.


This colleague is often invited to national sales meetings, where is shares the profound reasons why he loves the world of sales. His enthusiasm is infectious, and his authenticity shines through in every word. He firmly believes that sales is not merely about transactions but about breaking the ice, forging meaningful connections, and genuinely helping people achieve their goals.


What's remarkable about this individual is that he doesn't view his personal brand as a performance he puts on for others. It's not a facade or a persona he adopts temporarily. Instead, his personal brand is an authentic representation of who he truly is.


Rachel Montanez, a career expert and international professional speaker, emphasizes the significance of personal branding:

"Your personal brand is the combination of your skills, the values you present, and the impression you leave on others."

Defining Your Personal Brand


The first step in cultivating your personal brand is to define it. It could be your exceptional stakeholder management abilities, your prowess in solving intricate problems, or your knack for captivating social media engagement.


Remember, personal branding isn't about being flawless or perfect. It's about being slightly better than the rest, let's call that 10 percent better at "it" than others. To start, answer these questions:


What Fuels Your Passion?

What motivates you to rise each morning and enthusiastically go to work? Take a moment to jot down the top ten things that naturally spring to mind. These insights serve as the foundational building blocks for your personal brand, offering a view into what drives and inspires you each day.


What Are Your Strengths?

Identify the skills or talents in which you excel. These strengths will serve as the cornerstone of your personal brand. Gallup offers a complimentary strengths finder tool that can help you pinpoint your top five strengths. This can serve as a valuable starting point for your personal brand development.


Skills on Your Horizon

Think about skills you are curious about but haven't yet had the chance to develop. This could be project management skills, negotiation expertise, or communication skills. Your personal brand can evolve as you acquire new capabilities.


Projects That Energize You

Reflect on the tasks or projects that invigorate you the most. Aligning your brand with your passions can make your professional journey more gratifying.


Areas of interest

Identify the subjects that ignite your curiosity. Your personal brand should organically align with these intellectual passions. Attempting to construct a personal brand that strays from your true interests is not a sustainable endeavor—it's akin to putting on a facade, and authenticity is the cornerstone of a compelling personal brand.


The Long-Term Vision

Envision the future, ten years from now, and think about the lasting impact you desire to leave on your industry and the world. Visualize yourself on a prestigious TED Talk stage, addressing a large audience. What would your chosen subject be, and what emotions would you want to evoke within your listeners?


Role Models

Examine the individuals you admire most. What common qualities or traits do they share? These insights can offer valuable guidance for shaping your personal brand. These role models may even include fictional characters like Alicia Florrick from "The Good Wife" or Olivia Pope from "Scandal."


Once you've answered these questions, you'll have a clearer picture of your personal brand. It's this unique blend of motivations, strengths, interests, and aspirations that will distinguish you throughout your professional journey.


Personal brandING sTrategy in Action


With your personal brand defined, it's time to bring it to life. Here are 6 steps to help you initiate and expand upon it:


1. Align with the rIght Projects

Within your organization, identify projects that resonate with your personal brand. These are opportunities to showcase your skills and create a impact. By contributing to projects aligned with your brand, you'll not only excel but also gain recognition within your

workplace.


2. Personal Brand Networking

Connect with colleagues on platforms like LinkedIn who share similar interests or professional objectives. This will feel awkward at first. Start by simply commenting on posts that align with your post. Then start adding your perspective in the comments. Eventually, start getting bolder with debates and counter points of view. Engaging in meaningful dialogues, sharing insights, and providing support within your network can lead to new opportunities and collaborations.


3. Share Content on LinkedIn

Sharing your thoughts and expertise on LinkedIn is a good strategy to enhance your personal brand.


If you are just starting, it might feel awkward at first. Begin by reposting articles or posts from people you follow. Add your unique perspective and insights to these shared pieces. Over time, you'll become more at ease articulating your thoughts and might even commence crafting your content, including articles, social media posts, or videos.


Dorie Clark, a renowned author and expert on personal branding, highlights the foundational elements of a strong personal brand:

"There are plenty of useful ways to make a name for yourself in your field. But at a foundational level, you need to be viewed as credible, you need to share your ideas publicly so others can see your expertise for themselves, and you need to have a network that's eager to spread the word. With those three elements in place, even amid oversaturation and information overload, you've done everything possible to ensure your voice is heard and your talents are recognized."


4. Consistent pErsonal Branding

Dedicate time regularly to work on your brand. Incorporate it seamlessly into your professional life. As you grow more accustomed to this practice, it will become second nature, and your brand will gain strength.


5. Welcome Feedback on Your Personal bRanding Efforts

Seek feedback from peers, mentors, or colleagues to refine your personal brand continually. Embrace constructive criticism and utilize it as an opportunity for growth and enhancement.


6. Evolve and Adapt

Your personal brand should evolve concurrently with your career. As you acquire new skills and experiences, adapt and update your brand accordingly. Staying current in your industry is essential to remaining relevant.


PErsonal bRanding STrategy In Social Interactions


Please remember, your personal branding strategy extends beyond projects and presentations; How you present yourself in social contexts should be intentional and aligned with your brand.


For instance, if your personal brand revolves around positivity and optimism, your words and demeanor should reflect this, even in informal settings.


Consider this: You are at a networking event or social mixer. If your brand centers on positivity and cheerleading, and you find yourself feeling less enthusiastic that day, be intentional about what you say. Don't say, "Uggh...I did not want to be here today." Instead, frame your statement that aligns with your brand, like this: "I'm an introvert, but I relish new perspectives. These mixers provide me with opportunities to reevaluate my assumptions and connect with diverse viewpoints."


Finally, continuously remind yourself to evolve your personal branding strategy to stay relevant. As you accumulate knowledge and experiences, your personal branding strategy should naturally adapt to mirror the evolving you.


By meticulously defining your personal brand, strategically aligning with projects that resonate with it, proactively nurturing strategic professional networks, and consistently crafting and disseminating valuable content, you are effectively charting a course toward sustained career growth and personal fulfillment.


Get your hands on a free copy of the "Know Your Worth" skills audit workbook. Along with the Gallup strengths finder, this will help you with self reflection. Know your worth and fight for it!


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