Jay-Z once stated, “I’m not a businessman. I’m a business, man.” Gone are the days where your title and the company that you worked for define who you are. With the internet and social media, people can brand themselves and open the doors to opportunities that may not have been possible ten years ago. Inventing and re-inventing themselves whenever they find a new passion. We have more options than we have ever had when it comes to designing our careers. You can literally earn a living doing anything. So, what does that mean for you? You have to define your brand, or someone will do it for you.
Why create a personal brand?
- A personal brand enables you to introduce yourself visually, verbally, and in writing and instantaneously communicate your value. The greater your perceived value, the larger your salary.
- Your brand helps you build your network. They say your net worth, is your network. Your network can help you land your dream job or grow your business. More positions are filled by referrals, than random applications submitted to job postings. People want to work with people they know, like and trust.
- Establishing your brand increases your credibility. You become the go-to person for whatever you are known for doing well. It works in reverse too. If you repeatedly demonstrate unfavorable habits, people will remember that. Keep your word, operate in excellence, and do your best even on tasks that you don’t like.
How to create your personal brand
- Think about your accomplishments. If you could brag about something you have done, what would it be? What are you most proud of?
- Define your niche. What differentiates you from others? Are innovative? Do you know how to do something better or faster than most? What do people come to you for?
- What are you passionate about? Why do you do what you do?
What can establishing my personal brand do for me?
- Having a positive personal brand can accelerate your career. When you become the go-to person at something that adds value to an organization or person, you build a reputation for yourself.
- More people will want to work with you and possibly for you. Building followership is important as you move up in your career. Nobody makes it to the top on their own. At some point you will need to depend on or delegate to others. People are always watching and everyone wants to be led by a good leader that understands that his/her success is dependent upon the success of the team.
- Through your expanded network, you open yourself up to more opportunities. Your voice will be heard, even when you are not in the room. If someone hears of a new position that you would be perfect for, your name will be the first that comes to their mind. You attract mentors and Champions who will advocate for you. These people will be very important to you throughout your career.
When creating your brand statement focus on your value, be concise, and infuse it with personality. One or two statements are all you need. In a world of endless possibilities, you do not have to be a jack of all trades. Become good at something that’s worth getting good at, focus on it, and build your brand around it.
About the author:
La Tonya Roberts is a Career Strategist, HR consultant, and Trainer with a passion to help people design the life that they deserve.