In times of change, people often turn inward and question ‘who am I, what do I care about, and how do I want to express myself in this world?’ Personal branding addresses these large life questions and offers the tools to present our authentic selves in our personal and professional lives. This ‘deep diving’ is worth it!
Personal Branding is the art of creating a dynamic, consistent and memorable relationship with your target audience. Your ‘target audience’ can be anyone from an employer, client or customer to a romantic partner or social group. The end goal is to present yourself clearly and authentically so you attract the opportunities you want and get to where you want to go. I personally know the pain of reacting to whatever comes my way rather than choosing and designing my own career path and lifestyle, and it’s my intention to save you years of frustration through the process of knowing what you’re the best at, what you love to do and what you want your life to look like.
But what if you don’t even know? Well, you’re not alone – in these busy times it’s so easy to get distracted and forget what’s most important – so the key part of the process is knowing where you want to go and how you want to BE while you’re getting there.
Personal Branding can be approached from many angles depending on the individual and their area of focus. My method is to adapt some of the best business tools in strategic planning and communications and have my clients concentrate on four key areas:
Identifying who you are – articulating your long range personal and professional vision, your values and your goals.
Identifying the value you create – analyzing your strengths and opportunities to create a clear and specific ‘marketing position’ statement.
Identifying your ‘best behaviors’ – looking at the messages you send to your target audience through your actions.
Putting your best face forward – analyzing how you appear to your audience through your personal appearance and your communication style. We might also look at your website, marketing materials and your use of social media and video technology, if appropriate.
This is virtually an ‘inside out’ means for clients to create a consistent and congruent presence. There is ease and simplicity in choosing our activities, both personal and professional, from a foundation of self awareness and knowing what we want to project.
Why do I care about Personal Branding?
When I was studying marketing in the 1980’s, the career track was somewhat defined – get a job with a good company, work hard, be smart, get regular promotions and retire happily. In our present career climate, though, things have changed radically. The gold watch with a healthy pension and comfortable retirement is a thing of the past, and we’re called to approach our careers in a different way.
Like a professional athlete or an actor who relies on their personal brand for sponsorship or marketing opportunities, we’re ‘free agents’ in our own careers. We attract the professional opportunities we want by defining who we are, clarifying what we offer and expressing our value to an employer, client or customer in a consistent and congruent manner. When these core messages are clearly demonstrated in our goals, our actions and the way we present ourselves to the world, we have a powerful personal brand. This applies to opportunities in our personal lives as well.
For people who struggle to find meaning in their lives, the process clarifies what might be missing or what could be tweaked so they feel more fulfilled. It’s my strong belief that when people identify what they’re most passionate about, couple it with their unique set of skills and talents, and present it clearly and congruently, they’ll attract the opportunities that lead to success. Personal branding provides a process for self discovery that ultimately leads to great self fulfillment.