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Identifying Your Personal Brand

Note: This is the fourth of six blog posts detailing the developmental needs that will be addressed in the Resonare Boot Camp starting on July 16 and going through August 20, 2020.

The term “Personal Branding” is a relatively new term in public discourse, but the concept goes back for as long as people have been in communities. Whereas in our newly digitized, social media driven world, we’ve all become a product to be reviewed and sized up, and we can find out pages of data about you just by googling your name. In earlier times, it was just about what people knew and thought about you.

That old concept of “reputation” is still here with us, but in our online world has become much bigger. The power that we now have is that we have more control over how our reputation and brand is portrayed online, and we can adjust it not just overall, but also if we want to focus it for a certain area. For example, if you Google my name, you will come up with a bunch of information about me, and a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden who also shares my name. If instead you google my name and the word “career”, you’ll get many more stories about me.

Why this is important is because you don’t have to have everyone like you, just the right people, and you get to choose who the right people are (everyone else is in the 1st quadrant of “external & impersonal” in the Intentional Action Matrix, and you can’t do anything about that.) In job search, I like to say that you have to decide what “Secret Club” you are in, and only worry about the criteria of being seen as a member of that group.

Here are some of the things you have to be concerned with as you build your own Personal Brand:

  • What Are Your Best Attributes? What are you proud of and think show you off well? Are you a focused and strategic person, or an outside-the-box, creator of new ideas person? You need to think about what it is that makes you you, and that you are comfortable with sharing. It can be really helpful to ask friends and colleagues “How would you describe me to someone who didn’t know me?” or “What type of work would you come to me first to do, because you know I’m really good at it?”
  • Who Is Your Audience? What defines your Secret Club? Who are the people who are in it?
  • What Does Your Audience Need? What can you offer to people who need your help? What can you do for them?
  • What Do These People Currently Think of You? Do they know you exist? Do they think highly of you?
  • How Can You Get Your Message Across To Them? Where do they interact with you? Are you in the same professional groups? Do you interact with them on social media? Do they see any of your successes online or in person? Do other people talk to them about you?

Some things that you can do to make sure that you are developing your Personal Brand online (as in the age of COVID-19, we are all online) are:

  • Become really clear on who your targets are
  • Research the needs of your targets
  • Identify the criteria needed to be a member of a Secret Club. Do you have to have a certain degree or certificate? Do you need particular experience? Can you develop that now?
  • Search out people in the club and find out their needs. Cultivate relationships with them.
  • Review your stories to make sure you can demonstrate you have the skill sets needed.
  • Put your work out into the world so that people can see what you have to offer (also using appropriate hashtags, keywords, etc.)
  • Update all your online materials (LinkedIn profile, resume, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to make sure that what you are delivering there is in line with the reputation/personal brand you want to promote.

Doing all these actions is not a one time thing. As you understand yourself and your desires better, you will always be tweaking your actions (much like you are always tweaking your resume). Know that this is a part of your ongoing development and enjoy the ride. If you need help with this, feel free to set up an appointment for in-depth work.

Come join me in the Career Boot Camp starting July 16, 2020 and our third session on Thursday, July 30 will be just this. Other posts in this series are: Clarifying Your NeedsIdentifying Target Organizations, 4 Components to Develop Stories, Telling Your Stories, and Putting It All Together.

Photo by Ben Kolde on Unsplash

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