A personal brand is who you are and what you stand for. It’s how others within your community or industry perceive you based on your unique experience, skills, and personality. By defining your personal brand, you’re telling the world who you truly are.
Have you ever been asked to describe your personal brand? Do you even know what it means?
Your personal brand is exactly that — personal. It’s about defining who you are and what makes you ‘you’. It’s made its rounds as the buzzword at work the past few years, and it isn’t going anywhere.
Understanding and managing your personal brand is really important, especially with relentless social media, which employers now look to for everything career-related. It’s the first thing we check at Circle In as soon as someone emails us or asks us to partner. We Google them, Facebook them, check out their LinkedIn. And we can assure you that employers are doing the same.
Your personal brand is how you appear to the world. It’s about how your colleagues, your manager, your stakeholders, and literally everyone sees you. It’s your reputation on show, in the most public way.
Here are some things to consider when thinking about your brand.
- What are your values and guiding principles, such as loyalty, creativity, power, friendship?
- How do you define your personality? What words do you use to describe you?
- What are you truly passionate about? What makes you get out of bed?
- What’s your differentiator? Your super power? The thing that you absolutely do better than everyone else? The thing you could talk about all night or love doing?
- Who are your mentors or close colleagues who can provide an honest view and make you aware of things you didn’t know?
- How do people introduce you or describe you? This is a great thing to consider, as often this is how you’re being perceived.
- What would your manager or peers say is your greatest strength?
Defining your brand is not a quick and easy process. Use these points to start the process and gain clarity on your values, and what image you would like to project. It’s always good to think about someone you respect who has a great brand. What is it that makes that person so great? What makes people want to work for them? How do people describe them?
Once you’ve built your brand, it’s then up to you to be authentic and make sure you stay true to it. You don’t want to be someone who says one thing and acts another way: the one who wears a suit to a big meeting when they’ve never worn a suit in their life.
Define and live it. Be brave and confident to take your brand externally and use social sites such as LinkedIn to have a voice and opinion. Defining your brand feels great and allows you to be ‘you’ at work.
Don’t wear a suit if it’s not you. If you are a Converse and jeans type, then back yourself and live your brand.
Written by the Circle In team.