My father used to love to tell this story about my middle brother. My two brothers and I would be in the backseat for any outing in the car. And depending on the length of the trip, my middle brother would be afflicted by a very unusual malady: a “hamburger headache.” That meant we needed to find a McDonald’s…pronto!
My brother’s favorite character in the McDonaldland commercials was the Hamburglar, and thus the “hamburger headache” was born.
That was just fine with the rest of us. McDonald’s was our very favorite place in the world.
While we knew nothing about branding, the McDonald’s brand was firmly planted in our brains.
Branding of companies and organizations is common. But, in today’s extremely competitive marketplaces of jobs and ideas, the need to brand oneself is growing-particularly for women executives.
Branding is your reputation. Branding is about showcasing your unique value proposition and what sets you apart from others.
It is about building a unique name for yourself!
Branding is about being authentic and real. People want to connect with people they can trust. Authenticity also gives you the space to evolve and grow as others embrace your brand.
Investing in your personal brand enhances your most valuable asset- YOU!
Whether you know it or not, you do have a personal brand.
Don’t believe me? Google yourself and audit your online presence.
What comes up? You’ll find out what others are saying about you…something you need to know. Knowing what others say and think about you, measures your brand’s success and provides guidance for adjusting the “brand,” if necessary.
The question is no longer IF you have a personal brand, but do you allow your online reputation to take on a life of its own, through input from others, or do you control the narrative yourself?
Crafting a strong and authentic personal brand is one of the most impactful keys to executive presence, and success. If you don’t take charge of your online brand, search engines and third party tweets will do that for you.
Here are some ways to build that personal brand:
Think of yourself as your brand and become an expert. Think Oprah! She build a personal brand on her own story that people trust. Her name is her brand!
So, what is your area of expertise? What makes up your brand? Not only do people want to hear about you, but they also want to understand your story. Don’t be afraid to inject your story and your personality into your brand.
Define your unique value proposition- who you are and your unique abilities – in a sentence or two.
Networking - Surround Yourself with Powerful People The biggest key to building your brand is to surround yourself with powerful people—your network is your power.
And now doing these times, it is more important than ever.
A powerful network increases your visibility; that visibility increases your influence and status, which in turn increases your ability to build and maintain the right kind of relationships and get more done through them.
Networking is one of the best ways to brand yourself within your industry. By forming relationships with people in your audience, you can grow your reputation, your business and your brand long-term.
And last, but not least- Be who you are - your authentic self. Express your brand across multiple communications channels. Know your area of expertise and where you fit in. Remain visible to your target audience.
The Bottom Line: Personal branding is good for you, your business and your career
Discover Your Uniqueness…And Promote It!