Episode 20 - Personal Branding for Career Success
Hey Rebels!! Welcome back to the podcast! This will be the last episode for Season Two because we're going to take a little break to rest up before returning in May with Season #3. So think of this podcast as your favorite tv show. There are ten episodes per season, and then we take a month off to prepare for the next season. So in case, you're keeping track, that's the cadence of this podcast.
This has been such an incredible season, and I hope you've enjoyed it too. I loved hearing the stories of each of my guests, listening to how they navigated through uncertainty and doubt to achieve their desired goals in their business and careers. Choosing not to listen to the voices around them but instead to listen to themselves, confidently embrace their own vision, and bravely forge a new path in their lives and careers.
For example, I loved Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton's story about creating a global movement and membership because she was clear on her values around health equity and access, all while holding down a demanding full-time position. Or how Julia pivoted from a 20-year career into doing something new once she got clear on how to leverage her experience into a completely new field. Or how Catherine came back from the brink of death to start a modern-day movement for midlife women and become an age-positivist once she acknowledged her own worth and value. Or how Dr. Cathy Mazak turned a side-hustle into a successful business by sharing the strategies she used for success with another academic woman. Or how Samara's journey of discovery lead to a platform to help other women do the same. And how Diane uses the stories of her past to inspire leaders and entrepreneurs of the future. And to hear Tammy, Liz and Kate share how authenticity, grounded in self-exploration and self-discovery are the keys to career success.
It was indeed an inspiring season of dialogue and discussion.
While each story was different, a theme began to emerge for me as I listened and took notes. It's a foundational theme that I believe is imperative to career or entrepreneurial success, and that's personal branding.
Now, if you listened to these episodes and didn't get that theme, it could be because you may be thinking about some of the traditional ideas of branding, like your logo, website, color palette, tagline, etc. However, personal branding is so much more, and more importantly, it's crucial to cultivating a successful business or career.
Let me break this down for you.
Personal branding is about you. It's about understanding who you are and what you have to offer the world. It's understanding the vision you have for your life and career and then having the confidence to share it, inviting others to join in and share that vision with you. It's understanding your skills and experience and how to use them to do meaningful and impactful work. It's authentic, it's clear, and it's compelling.
That's an aspect of what each of my guests shared during this season's podcast. But as a certified personal branding strategist and certified image consultant, I want to give you a bit more structure around the definition, why it's important, and how you can create your own brand that will position you for career success.
Let's first talk about why having a personal brand is so important.
In this digital and global economy we live in, we're competing against a lot of noise. As a result, it can be tough to set yourself and your message apart. Whether you're looking for a job, building your career, growing your network, or starting a new venture, you have to be visible, memorable, credible and create meaningful connections.
93% of employers will search for you on your social media during the interview process. 85% of recruiters will search for you on all social media platforms to vet your candidacy for a position. And because we're inundated with information, people are becoming less trusting of "marketing" strategies, including your resume and cover letter. 81% of people trust the word or advice from a trusted colleague or friend. So if a friend or colleague has had some interaction with your personal brand and recommended or referred you, others will be more likely to trust or believe what you have to offer.
Once established, your personal brand becomes a tool that helps you market yourself consistently and successfully across multiple communication channels, even in this competitive market. Employers and potential clients want to know more about you than just your education, work history, or technical skills. They want to know about you and whether they can know, like, and trust you.
It answers the question in most people's minds," Why you?" When you can help others become consciously aware of why you're different from everyone else and should be chosen above everyone else, you've successfully been able to position yourself as the stand-out choice.
But your personal brand is not about having everyone love or choose you. It's ensuring YOUR people are choosing you. The people you want to help, the companies you want to work for, the industries you want to advance or change. So your personal brand should represent what you stand for as much as what you stand against, so it's clear to people. Kind of like Coke and Pepsi. Some people love one or the other, and then some don't like either and would rather have ginger ale, ice tea, or sparkling water. So building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you, so people can answer the "why you" question for themselves.
By definition, a personal brand is your unique promise of value. Your unique promise of value is made up of your vision, mission, passions, skills, strengths, gifts, goals, message, and image.
It's also about having confidence that you can deliver on that "promise of value." That's why a personal brand isn't about treating yourself like a product, faking it 'til you make it, or merely creating a profile or content online. Instead, it's a representation of what you authentically bring to the table. It goes deeper than a job title. It's you saying, here's what I can do for you, here's my gift to the world.
For example, my unique promise of value is that I can help high-achieving women in midlife overcome the self-doubts and limiting beliefs that keep them from designing an epic career and life they love. And lucky I have women out there that I've worked with who can say, "yep," that's exactly what she did for me and validate my promise of value. As Jeff Bezos famously said, "your brand is what people say about you when you're NOT in the room." While branding starts with marketing yourself, branding is when you begin to hear other people repeat it.
What helped me understand my unique value was ascertaining my gifts, talents, strengths, and skills, a method of gaining clarity on what I knew I could do for those I wanted to support and help. Then amplifying that message to my target audience with authenticity so they would know who I was and where to find me if they needed my promise of value—and finally activating a strategic plan that would allow me to achieve success over and over again to solidify my reputation and achieve that know, like and trust factor in the hearts and minds of my tribe. This allowed me to rise above all the noise, set myself apart, and achieve my desired results, just like the women I interviewed this season on the podcast.
It's what I call my Triple A-Framework and what my clients work on in the Career Rebel Academy.
So, what can you do to build your personal brand? Start with you.
Reconnect to your zone of genius
Rediscover your talents
Figure out your goals
Take an inventory of your experience
Get clear on who you want to impact and how
Create a vision for your future
Align your image and your message
Bravely share it with the world.
Not only will you feel more inspired, motivated, and confident about the work you do in the world, but the people who have been waiting for you will also be inspired. Kind of like a superhero coming to save the day.
I have a free guide on creating a compelling brand, and I'll share it with you. I'll put a link to the guide in the show notes so you can start working on building your own brand.
Thanks for tuning in this season! Continue going after your dreams, say yes to yourself, embrace your significance, and own your brilliance.
Until next time Rebels, have an amazingly rebellious week!