We know many companies by their brand. Many times, the brand is the name of the founder or owner. Charles Schwab. Dell. Oprah. Madonna. JC Penney. Tiger. I could go on and on. When you hear the name or the brand, you immediately get an image of the “product,” even if it’s a negative image. Brands are powerful things.
I recently read “The Brand Called You” by Montoya and Vandehey. Great book and highly recommended. Even though the book focuses on building your business brand, I started thinking about my own “brand” in my company. I began thinking about what I am known for. And it struck me that the same process to identify a business brand can also be used to identify a personal brand.
What is your brand? Why should anyone “buy” what you have to offer? Who is your client/customer (both internal and external)? Why do they seek you out over someone else. OK, so you don’t own a company, but you DO have a product to offer…YOU! Think about your personal brand. What is your specialization?
In terms of your leadership, why should anyone follow you? What is your leadership brand? Sure you have a college degree or certifications. So what? So do most of the other people in your company or organization. What sets you apart from the rest? In addition to your technical/functional skills, your leadership skills should set you apart.
Everything you do adds to your brand.
- How you act in a professional setting
- The e-mails you send
- Your personal values
- The skills you possess
- How you treat others
- Your aspirations
- Your ability
How do you craft your personal brand? It won’t happen overnight, but you can begin by answering the following:
- What experiences do you possess that people or organizations seek in a leader?
- What skills and knowledge do you possess that people or organizations seek in a leader?
- What values do you possess that align with the values of your organization?
- What sets you apart from others in your organization?
When people hear your name, what images come to mind? Results oriented? Go-to person? Quality individual? Leader?
Begin thinking about your personal brand. Why should an organization hire you? Why should your company put you in a leadership role? Why should anyone follow you? Focus on one or two things you can develop as an individual and become a specialist in that area.