Why Your Personal Brand is Critical to Advancing Your Career

brand career Jan 09, 2019

In today's competitive market it would be negligent, and irresponsible, not to develop a strong personal brand. A strong personal brand should be a key component of your career management plan. And let me make it clear that when I say "personal" brand, I'm speaking about how you individually are showing up in your professional space.

In the past your personal brand could be defined by your logo and business cards. Today, in the age of information technology, your personal brand includes so much more. Also, contrary to popular belief, branding isn’t all about shamelessly promoting yourself, it's about cultivating credibility. This will also carry over into the workplace once you're hired.

Your personal brand is the cumulation of your identity, messaging (your professional narrative/story), values, interests and image. It usually includes information about the field you're in, the customers or clients you service, and the industry you contribute to. This type of information is far too complex to fit on a simple business card.

Erving Goffman, in 1959, coined the term "impression management," which was used to define how an individual could present themselves in a way that would enhance their image or perception in someone else's eye. This is what personal branding is about....your ability relay information about yourself in the manner you wish that information to be relayed.

So whether you're looking for a change in your career, a promotion, or even a new job, who you are or rather the perception of who you are, can either help you rise above your competition or sink you to the bottom of ship.

On today's segment on AM Northwest, I shared four tips to ensure your brand enhances your career or business.

Using Your Personal Brand to Advance Your Career

1. Craft your branded mission statement. We often call this an elevator pitch, but it's really about your ability to state a clear vision of who you are and what you contribute to the world. This isn't just about stating a title or where you work. When you network, on your social media profiles, or when chatting with prospective clients, employers or recruiters, you have to be able to succinctly share how and why brand you stands out above the rest.

2. Consider blogging. You can create your own blog, guest blog or write articles for other publications.  Writing is a good way to get your voice and perspective out there in the world and to position you as a thought leader in your field. Don't be afraid of self-promotion or to toot your own horn.

3. Pay attention to your digital footprint. When sourcing candidates, 94% of recruiters and hiring employers will search on LinkedIn and 65% on Facebook. That means your digital footprint matters. The key is to be authentic and represent the real you, but you must be professional and in some how align yourself with your industry. 

4. Get a brand audit. If you're not sure about your brand you'll want to take the time or invest in a good brand audit. This will give you that 360 degree feedback which will let you see how you're viewed in the world. We often think we're coming across one way only to find out we're coming across in the exact opposite manner. It's better to know now and fix it, then wait and get negative feedback from your hiring employer or potential client.

You can watch the segment from today's show here.

Do you need to do a brand audit? 

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