By Randi Bussin
Personal Branding: it’s an opportunity for job seekers, career changers, and small business owners to figure out what separates them from their peers and to rise above the noise in this crowded business and employment environment.
Personal Branding is for EVERYONE, not just consumer packaged goods firms with large marketing and branding budgets. It is about identifying, and then communicating, what makes you unique, relevant, and differentiated for your target audience, so that you can reach your career or business goals. If you understand your strengths, skills, passions, values, goals, and how others perceive you, you can then use this information to separate yourself from your competitors and really stand out.
Personal Branding is very powerful because it sends a clear, consistent, and authentic message about who you are and what you have to offer. A strong, authentic Personal Brand helps you become known for what you’re good at, sets you apart from everyone else, and can position you as a niche expert.
So you are probably wondering, how do you discover your Personal Brand?
The first step in the process is (1) to do your own introspective analysis or homework (understanding your goals, values, passions, strengths, etc.) and then (2) to understand how others perceive you. Once you have analyzed all of this information and have distilled down your unique brand attributes and leadership competencies, then you can determine how to communicate your competitive differentiation to the people who need to know about you (your target audience).
In the communication phase, you establish a media plan that is based upon communication vehicles you enjoy using and those that reach your target audience. This phase could also include incorporating your Personal Brand into your resume, a branded biography, LinkedIn profile, Twitter, etc.
So why should I care about Personal Branding? There are numerous benefits to a strong Personal Brand, some of which are listed below:
- Personal Branding enhances your self-awareness.
- Personal Branding helps you clarify and reach your career or business goals.
- Personal Branding helps you create visibility and presence, in front of those people who will be making decisions about you.
- Personal Branding is about differentiation.
- Personal Branding offers more control and power over your career.
- Personal Branding creates wealth as strong brands are typically paid more.
- Personal Branding offers resilience in difficult economic times.