Do You Have a Brand?
By Natascha F. Saunders, Certified Career Coach
Personal branding is defined as the process by which you market yourself to others.It is how you position yourself for success.Branding is not just for the rich and famous; it is for the teacher, finance consultant, culinary artist, computer specialist and parent. Branding influences everyone regardless of age, race, gender or occupation.Your brand is in play 24 hours a day. When you wake up and your child looks you in the eyes, they have formed an opinion about the type of parent you are. When you walk by the cleaning crew at your office and don’t say, “Good morning,” you’ve branded yourself.
We are beyond the days where you can have a distinct “personal” and “corporate” brand. You must decide today who you are and who you want others to think you are, and act on it. You must determine how you will differentiate yourself from the mass of humanity.
Everything about you should speak to your brand message:
- Have a clearly defined and written personal vision statement of where you want your career and life to go.
- Be sure your brand is consistent with your vision, values, interests, personality and accomplishments, and that you can explain the characteristics that make up your brand.
- Have a clearly defined brand positioning statement and target audience for your brand message.
- Clearly present your brand on your résumé or CV.
- Know and be able to articulate how your personal brand is better than competitors’.
- Have a finely honed elevator pitch that clearly speaks to the attributes that make you unique and better qualified than other job-seekers.
- Have a professional website or blog specifically designed to deliver your brand message and showcase your accomplishments.
- Have a mentor who helps with your career goals and personal branding strategy.
- Have a network of contacts that know your brand value and are able to communicate it.
- Have a strong “Googleability” rating and online presence track, quantify and report your key accomplishments to your supervisor and network of contacts; keep a personal report.
- Have a plan for reducing and eliminating any real or perceived negative elements of your personal brand. solicit feedback about your brand from associates, friends, family and colleagues at least twice a year.
“Brands are built on what people are saying about you, NOT what you are saying about yourself.”- Guy Kawaski, Apple Fellow, author and venture capitalist
……TO LEARN HOW TO ASSESS YOUR BRAND, follow Natascha’s starting areas:
According to Carol Goman, author of “The Silent Language of Leaders,” we only have seven seconds to make a first impression. Everything about you — performance, appearance and attitude — should speak to your brand message.
To help you assess the effectiveness of your brand, you should evaluate:
Materials: business card, résumé, cover letters, thank-you notes, stationery, and biography
Image: clothing, shoes, briefcase, scent, hairstyle, teeth, hands, nails
Communication: grammar, penmanship, personal branding statement, attitude, eye contact, posture (standing and sitting), smile, handshake
Reputation: personal and professional references; testimonials — ask friends, family, co-workers, classmates and enemies to describe you in an anonymous three-word description;
Online: personal website, blog, biography on your company website, LinkedIn, weekly Google search, online portfolio, Slideshare, YouTube Channel demonstrating your talents and magazine articles.
No online presence? Make one!
Need help with your brand? If so, reach out to Natascha Saunders
www.nataschasaunders.com | www.theyouthcareercoach.com | Twitter @TaschaSaunders | firstname.lastname@example.org