Personal Branding: Sell Yourself!

In the world of business, many people see themselves as a product or a commodity to sell, but this is not what personal branding is all about. Personal branding is about taking the cookie-cutter approach to business out of the equation and creating a meaningful professional profile so you can be known as a distinguished professional.

The way to craft your personal branding position is based on a mix of factors that include your experience, leadership and passion.

Businessman adjusting sleeveThis is not the classic résumé definition, which is a breakdown of years on the job and an overview of work completed. This is an approach that positions how you evolved and grew as a professional during that time frame—not a bulleted list, but rather a curriculum vitae of your contributions.

This is not another fill-in-the-blank timeline. When leadership is introduced into the personal branding position, it is all about your intellectual accomplishments. During your tenure, what thoughts, ideas, changes and innovations did you bring to your team, your company, your customers and your field?

No great personal branding position is complete without this all-important component. Why you do what you do matters. Your personal branding position should include the important reasons you love what you do and how you uniquely complete this work exceptionally. This is all about what drives you, and it should be expressed in the most honest and authentic way possible.

Strip Back the Layers and Create Your Own Personal Brand

The personal branding framework is not a static model. This process is one that evolves and changes based on each individual. The basic flow is outlined below, yet each individual must constantly revise, revamp and revitalize this framework to maximize results.

The four phases of the personal brand framework

Man wearing sandwich boardInvestigate—This is the part of the process in which you develop your personal branding position and gather information about your own professional goals and aspirations (identify your intrinsic motivators and personal tendencies).

Create—This is the phase where you draft your personal branding statement and start working on your plan for development. (What is your professional value? What do you want to accomplish in three months? What are your long-term goals?)

Utilize—This is when you put your personal branding into action and start the actions on your branding to-do list (speak at a professional conference, revamp your résumé, start on your guru blog, etc.).

Optimize—This is your own personal call to action. This portion of the framework is about living up to your personal branding statement and being true to the plan. Basically “walking the walk and talking the talk.”

To be successful  in leadership today, you need to present yourself as authentic and professional. Using personal branding and understanding possible biases you encounter will help you in today’s competitive business world.

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