career management, Careers, Elevator Pitch, entrepreneurs, Job Search, Networking, personal brand management, Personal Branding, self employed, small business

Brand Your Personal Brand in the Minds of Others

Mary Rosenbaum | April 30th, 2010

If you were to ask three colleagues, three friends, and three family members to describe your attributes, strengths, and abilities do you know what they would say? Would they all say the same things? There has been much written about personal branding, in fact, I have written and spoken a great deal about it as well. But have you thought about what it actually means?

Personal BRANDING is the process by which you determine how you want to be viewed by others and then go about BRANDING the words you want them to use when describing you. You are in effect BRANDING your “reputation” in the minds of others.

How do you do this?

1. Find out what others think of you? Have a conversation and ask them the questions that would bring out how they would describe you to others. If you want more detailed information, a 360 assessment is a great tool to use because it offers anonymity and that ensures a higher degree of honesty and accuracy.

2. Do a Strengths, Weakness, Attribute, and Talents analysis (SWAT) using information they provide and include your own self analysis. Once you have this information determine which skills, talents, abilities, attributes and strengths are ones that will further your career. Those are the ones you want to highlight. If there are weaknesses that might prevent you from attaining your goals, think of ways you can ameliorate them (take courses, connect with those who can help you overcome them, partner with people who can fill in your gaps). If they are not road blockers, just forget them and move on.

3. Do a comparative analysis of the skills and abilities you bring to your work. Try to determine how you are the same and what makes you different than your competitors. What gets you in the game – education, years of experience, similar skill sets – should be the same. What makes you different is a combination of what others think of you, special talents and skills you bring to your work, and the way in which you provide your service or do your job.

4. Develop an elevator pitch or personal branding statement that provides the listener with information on what you do, why you do it, what your differentiating qualities are, and the value you provide. You don’t have to be looking for a job or pitching a client to develop a strong personal branding statement or pitch. The reason you are doing this is so that you can “brand” this description into the minds of all you meet and already know.

5. Make sure your messaging is clear and consistent. Everyone should understand what you do and the value you provide. And it should be consistent for everyone you meet.

6. Always be on brand. Make sure that the work you do and the way you present yourself, on and off line are always on brand. It takes a great deal of time to build a reputation, to solidify your brand in other peoples’ minds. It takes considerably less time to destroy it.

Are there other ways you have in identifying your unique promise of value, your personal brand? We would love to hear about them.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum helps entrepreneurs and careerists position themselves so they can stand out from the competition. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

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