Do you have a professional brand strategy; a plan to be known in your industry for your skills, performance, and expertise?
Whether you have consciously developed a brand or not, you have one. People we work with and work around create their own idea of who we are and what we are known for and it may or may not be what you desire or aligned to where you want to have an impact next.
Developing a brand strategy for a person is similar to building a company or product brand. You have to know what it is, why you need it and what you’ll receive as a result of using it.
So now put yourself into that equation:
- Who are you?
- Why should people work with you?
- What can they expect from the experience?
Answering these questions may involve talking with other people about your abilities. Frequently, we struggle to see ourselves in the light that others see us. However, it is important to set some guidelines. For example, if you believe your strengths lie in organization and development but others see you as just an event planner, you will need to strategically begin to reform those opinions.
Looking for specific guidance in the process of first determining what your brand should be? The book Make a Name For Yourself is a great resource written by Robin Fisher Roffer who helps women determine their brand and then create a brand strategy to communicate with the world.
“Branding for people is about finding your ‘big idea,’ the core you, and putting it out in the universe to fulfill itself,” Roffer says, citing Oprah, Martha Stewart and Madonna as examples of women whose professional “brand name” is immediately recognizable and definable, and the cornerstone of their success.”
Once you have a clear understanding of how you want to be known, you need to develop and execute a marketing plan to get the word out.
Tips to a Brand Strategy
During a recent Relevant Conversation, I talk about how to brand yourself for your future. The steps are simple:
- Determine where you want your career to go
- Create a brand for that future position
- Spread the word
Developing and communicating your brand for the career you desire is such an important topic and in the following video, I share more details about the importance of making the time to create your brand.
In addition to your personal brand, there are also a few keys tips I offer women in business when it comes to life lessons that have been the most impactful for me. When people speak of you, and they will, what will they say?
I was asked to explain these lessons in a recent interview with WSB:
- Be Present at the moment you are in now. No need to reflect on the past or worry about the future. The present is what you need to focus now. Life will guide you where you need to go with lessons, nudge and miracles if you are paying attention. People will notice if you are present; in the discussion, in the meeting, and on the project. Be known for being someone who is focused and totally absorbed with the situation at hand.
- Be Mindful to the stories you tell yourself. Especially the internal stories where you can catch yourself saying “I am not ready,” or “I am not enough,” or “I am not smart.” This is the ego that will often work to minimize your potential and scare you out of accelerating your impact. People will hear the negative way you view your own performance and could begin to believe your insecurities. Stay positive and others will as well.
- Be Kind to yourself, your family, your co-workers, your friends and strangers as people will often remember how you made them feel.My daily mantra: I measure my riches on the positive energy I share and create.
“People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou
Bottom Line: Determining your personal brand and then creating a strategy to achieve that vision should be a top priority for your professional life. What will be your first step in creating that brand strategy?
More Articles on Brand Strategy
- Career Advancement: Branding for Your Future
- How Professionally Relevant Are You?
- What Does it Mean to be a Thought Leader?
- Build a Personal Brand for a Specific Opportunity
For more videos and interviews from Tech Savvy Women on building and communicating your brand, click here.
JJ DiGeronimo — the president of Tech Savvy Women — is a speaker, author, and thought leader for women in tech and girls and STEM. Through her work, JJ empowers professional women and consults with senior executives on strategies to retain and attract women in technology to increase thought and leadership diversity within organizations.
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