Tips to Improve Your Personal Brand
What is your personal brand? Have you thought about it? If you have or if you have not given this topic consideration it is important to always put your best foot forward and give a clear representation of who you are, and what your personal brand signifies. Here is a list of things you can do to promote your personal brand, create a clear picture of your brand, ensure prospective clients understand your skill sets, and more. By taking these steps to improve your personal brand you will increase your professional network, open doors to new opportunities, and can potentially build yourself a solid foundation upon which to construct, and shape your personal asset that can give back to yourself for years to come.
Personal Brand To Do’s
1.Create a Strong Value Statement: If you are operating like a brand/company, you need to have a personal brand value proposition statement. This Forbes article is a great reference, which you can then apply to your personal brand statement. Think about what unique benefits/services your customers experience by hiring you, and roll it into a tight statement.
2.List ALL Achievements/Skills/Certifications/Awards/Roles in Organizations: No matter how small an achievement may seem, list it. Each committee you’ve served on or participated in is important. Going forward, whenever you join a committee, or participate in a community activity think and act in accordance with your personal brand. These will only help to enhance and back up your personal brand position.
3.Think Before You Act/Push Send: Before you publish or post anything on your social pages, communicate with your team at work, or respond to questions at events remember to keep it in line with what you have laid out in your personal brand outline. You want to remain consistent, and demonstrate the validity in your word by supporting the criteria with your actions.
4.Operate Like a Brand: It is a good idea to operate your personal brand in terms of a business. Think about all aspects businesses utilize to position themselves, sell their services, gain trust and build relationships, and more. We previously covered creating a unique value proposition, but it is equally important to back that statement up with testimonials. You can easily acquire these from working acquaintances, friends, and past employers. Don’t doctor their statements, but you can ask politely for a testimonial that they think aligns with your personal brand or would exemplify your personal brand. Send the polite request alongside your value proposition statement so they can easily reference it.
5.Explore What Sets You Apart: This could be a small detail that you think is insignificant, but might prove to be a large factor in setting you apart from others in your field. Maybe it’s the no nonsense attitude with which you tackle problems, maybe it is the bi-weekly meetings you host to inspire your team and to encourage communication, or perhaps it’s the convention you attend annually on self-improvement. Whatever it is, take time to marinate on it and expound upon it as a determining factor of your personal brand.
6.Continually Update: A great idea for continuing to improve upon your personal brand is to update it as you work on new projects, work with new people, and gain new experiences, skills, and overcome new obstacles. No one stays stagnant through life. We learn from each project we work on. Your value proposition statement may change during each period of your professional career. Thinking like a brand, you can ask people you’ve worked with for feedback to inspire new ideas or shape your personal brand. Each person you ask will have unique feedback, which can lead to personal brand revelations.
7.Build Personal Website: Most people will put this as the first item on their list, but how can you build a personal website without knowing what your personal brand is? Once you have gone through the steps above create your webpage/website and sell your brand.
8.Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile: You may have other social media accounts (which you can roll into your professional personal brand plan), but LinkedIn is specifically for professional use. All of the items we have discussed above can be applied to your LinkedIn profile and can operate hand in hand with your personal brand website.
By combining these efforts into one personal brand that represents who you are as a consultant and person will give potential clients a full picture of what they can expect when they hire you to get the job done. Continue to think and act in terms of your personal brand, improve and make changes to it, and utilize it to forge new opportunities and relationships.