Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Branding

I found this article about branding. I thought it was interesting because kids (and many adults!) don't think about the perceptions they are giving to others about themselves. When I look at pictures posted on line I often wonder, "What were they thinking?"

As I work to put together a presentation for kids I am keeping these ideas in mind.


5 Keys to Building Your Personal Brand

Megan Dalla-Camina

Posted: 05/20/2014 12:37 pm EDT Updated: 07/20/2014 5:59 am EDT

I talk about personal branding a lot and I have a whole chapter in my book dedicated to it,

because it matters. As we know, many of us think that if we just keep our head down and do

the work, that all else will take care of itself regarding our careers. But as many of us also

know, that's often just not true.

One of the key aspects of our career that really matters is your personal brand -- which is

essentially how you choose to present yourself. Everyone has one. Many people don't know

what their personal brand says about them; and few do something positive to build it,

enhance it, and leverage it to support their career success. I am still surprised by how many

people think they don't even have one.

So what does your brand say about you? What do you want it to say? Building a successful

personal brand starts with knowing yourself. Here are my top five tips for creating your

personal brand and enhancing it so you can achieve your dream level of success (whatever

that looks like for you).

1. Be authentic

Many branding experts will tell you how to shape and craft your personal image to within an

inch or your life. Think about politicians who are melded and moulded until they are exactly

what they believe their constituents want them to be. This may work in politics (a point no

doubt we could argue on) but I have rarely seen this work as a sustainable career strategy --

or certainly not for anyone who actually wants to be happy at work.

You need to develop your personal brand in light of who you actually are. Look at your

strengths, your likes, where you shine, how you like to dress etc. When you strip away the

mask, who are you really, and how can you show up in a way that allows your true authentic

self to show through? That is the essence of your personal brand, and the only essence that

you want to build on. Fake it till you make it is not something you want to project when we

are talking about your brand.

2. Make sure you can 'be you' where you work

Once you have worked out who you really are and therefore what your personal brand

should be, the next step is how you bring your full and authentic self to work everyday in a

way you can flourish. If you feel confined, constrained and like you just don't fit with how

you are expected to show up in your work, then here is a hint -- you may be in the wrong

job. So have a think about your passion, purpose and reason for being, and see where it

leads you. You may need to make a change to truly thrive at work.

3. Be known for something

To really shine, you need be clear on who you are, what you want, and you need to harness

and build your skills and knowledge. The key is to not only build them, but to become

known for them, in a way that differentiates you from everyone else. It's not just enough

that you know what you know -- others have to know that you know it. This is how you

become a thought leader or an expert. And remember to be specific. If you think you can be

known for everything, you run the risk of being known for nothing at all. Get clarity, build

your deep expertise, and then you can become known for it.

4. Get your behavior in check

Many of the things that are critical to building your brand are not about knowledge, they

aren't about how you look, and they aren't about how firm your handshake is (but yes, firm

is always best). A huge chunk of being well regarded is actually about behaviors. I cannot

stress this strongly enough. What you are known for is as much about how you do what you

do, as it is about what you actually do. So think about things like being kind, being

respectful, showing up on time, listening to others and not being a gossip. Behaviors matter

-- big time. So focus on mastering yours.

5. Build and own your personal brand online

How you show up online is just as important (or maybe even more important these days)

than how you show up in person. It can literally make or break you, in terms of others'

perception and your reputation. If you haven't done a Google search on yourself recently,

then you need to do one. Knowing what is out there on the web when people are looking for

you, whether it is a future employer, a new manager or a client, is critical to managing your

brand. Think about your social media presence, your personal website or blog, how and

where you comment online, then look at what you are saying and how people are

responding.

You have a personal brand whether you like it or not. Think about how you show up, how

others perceive you, what you know and who knows it, and what your online profile says

about you. With all that in mind, you will have gone a long way in building a brand that

works for you.

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