Sunday, February 20, 2011

Personal Branding

What Is It and Why Is It Important?
Everyone has a personal brand; it’s just that some people are more purposeful in managing their brands by ensuring they are the ones articulating their brand to others. In other words, they own and take charge of their brand story.
William Arruda, a personal branding expert, says that “true brand success comes when you can engage others with your brand by successfully expressing and exuding to them what your brand is that they, in turn, can speak of and communicate your brand through the credibility of their own voice to the people who know, like and trust them.”

Your ability to convey your brand so people are then able to describe it to others may impact your career path, as evidenced by a
research study conducted by catalyst research. In the study, respondents were asked to list those factors that played a role in developing career and advancement opportunities. The top 5 factors they named were:
• 71 %: Network and build relationships within and outside the organization
• 52%: Articulate, good communicator, influential
• 51%: Find ways to become visible
• 45%: Play politics and lobby for yourself and your work
• 43%: Communicate effectively and ask for lots of feedback
Interestingly, “knowledge/competence” came in at 37% and “works long hours” at 29%.

The key take-away is that the top 5 factors are dependent on you having a personal brand, managing it, and ensuring others know what it is so they can articulate it to others and/or help you refine it along the way.

How to Tell Your Personal Brand Story
So, you may be wondering how you tell your personal brand story. Think back to when you were in the fourth grade. It was probably around that time you learned to write a story using the “6 W’s and an H” – who, what, when, where, why, and how. Your teacher almost certainly explained that when you cover these areas, you provide readers/listeners with all the information they need to understand the full story. The same is true of how you define and tell your brand story. Here are some of the factors to consider:

Who:
• Are you and who do you want to become (i.e. what are your goals)?
• Are you targeting?
• Is in your network?

What:
• Do you stand for in the minds of others?
• Are you known for in your field?
• Are your skills, interests, and values?
• Do you offer that helps you compete in the market and what do you need to do
to differentiate?

When:
• Are your time lines to achieve your goals?
• Are you yourself?

Where:
• Are people meeting you and really getting to know you (i.e. are you networking
and building relationships)?
• Can people find your brand?

Why:
• Should people believe in your brand?
• Do you stand out compared to others?

How:
• Do you represent yourself (in everything from your attitude to written
communication to style), and how do others perceive you?
• Do you add value?
• Do you bring your brand to life?

In upcoming posts, various aspects of personal branding will be explored. I look forward to an ongoing conversation!

1 comment:

  1. Jessica, great post and a very interesting study.

    - Dan Schawbel, http://danschawbel.com

    ReplyDelete