The work involved in uncovering your brand may seem daunting, but your efforts can benefit you immeasurably. My own brand development helped me refocus the way I do business toward the kinds of work I’m most passionate about, and more deeply niche my target audience. In a job search or working on a promotion, developing and communicating your personal brand can highlight you as a good fit and accelerate your progress. Your unique brand message differentiates the best you have to offer, gives a good indication of what you’re like to work with, and shows evidence of how you make things happen. Is it time for you to refresh, refine or maybe even redesign? I recommend scheduling some time to answer the questions below to identify where you are on your journey and to get you moving toward your ultimate goal.
What is your vision for your life and your purpose?
Before clearly defining your brand, look externally at the bigger picture of your vision for the world and then, look internally at how you might help the world realize your vision.
What are your values and passions?
Before you move forward with anything you have to identify what is most important to you and what gets you excited everyday. Once you clarify your belief system how you operate it will be easier for you to identify opportunities that are a good fit for you.
What are your top goals for the next year, 2 years, and 5 years?
Write them out in detail and create a strategic plan to achieve them. If that seems overwhelming start small and work you way up to more. But start writing something down and set your intentions!! Otherwise nothing will happen.
Do a self-assessment of your top brand attributes.
Identify three or four adjectives that best describe the value you offer? What words do you use to define your personality? Here are some examples:
- results driven
What are your core strengths or motivated skills?
Where and how do you excel? What are you known for in your industry? Why do people come to you? How can you become irreplaceable?
Get feedback from those who know you best—at work, at home, anywhere.
Do you really know how others see and think of you? If not, ask for feedback. Ask you manager. Colleagues and co-workers what they thing your top strengths are or even how they would describe you to another business professional. Does your self-assessment match theirs? If not, what do you need to adjust, modify or change?
Do a SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) analysis of yourself.
This is an important step in the process. Understanding your weaknesses and threats is essential to staying ahead of the curve and your competition.
Who is your target audience?
Determine what industry area of expertise you want to focus in on. Where do the decision makers hang out? How do they make their hiring decisions? Figure out the skills, experience and qualities leaders in this area are looking for in the candidates they are hiring. Identify the key words they use to search for these candidates.
Who is your competition in the marketplace and what differentiates you from them?
Figure our what makes you unique and how you stand out from your competition. Why would a recruiter or manager choose you over your competition? Figure out how to become the best possible choice!
Remember the 3 Cs of personal branding:
Clarity – be clear about who you are and who you are not.
Consistency –express your brand across all communications vehicles.
Constancy – stay visible to your target audience.
Now put the work in that needs to happen to make you be the best you can possibly be in your industry!