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Do you have a memorable personal brand? Do you even know what branding is all about and what YOUR personal brand is all about?
With so much misinformation about personal branding swirling around out there, it’s easy to see why people are confused.
The concept of personal branding is quite simple:
Define, differentiate and communicate the unique ROI (return on investment) you offer your target audience over your competitors.
What makes you unique compared to your competitors is at the heart of branding.
Target audiences differ – just as what they’re looking for in people like you differs.
For job search and career management, your brand needs to resonate with your target employers and/or current employer.
Similarly, in business, build your brand communications around what will hit home with your customers or clients.
Your brand helps people decide whether to hire you, keep you as an employee, or do business with you.
Generating chemistry is an important part of the defining and differentiating process for authentic personal branding.
Don’t be afraid to convey a feel for your personality. Think of personal branding as educating people about what kind of person you are. Therefore, your brand indicates the best you have to offer your target audience.
The Science Behind What Makes You Unique
According to leading researcher on strengths and self-mastery, Marcus Buckingham, in a LinkedIn News article:
“Your brain has more connections within it than the amount of stars in 5,000 Milky Ways. This is the true extent of your individuality.
There is no one else in the world – nor has there been, nor will there ever be again – who has the same pattern as you.”
The article notes:
“The next time you’re wondering why waking up before dawn or creating pivot tables seems to drain you while it energizes others, this could be part of your answer. And that’s ok. Marcus calls it your wyrd (sounds like “weird”), which is an ancient Norse term he’s using to describe that we are each born with distinct spirits. Embracing your wyrd allows for a much more generative relationship with yourself and your power.
It’s not that we should ignore every weakness or use weaknesses as an excuse for complacency. It’s that self-mastery, you becoming more like…well yourself, benefits the collective. And instead of making you average at being someone else, it makes you excellent at being yourself.”
What Goes Into Defining and Building a Memorable Personal Brand?
Although the concept of personal branding is simple, doing the work to define your brand can be hard, and requires deep reflection.
Get clear on what you want to do next and which employers will fulfill your career needs.
Know your target audience and the particular pain points of theirs you’re uniquely qualified to help them with.
Research each employer to identify what challenges or goals you can help them with.
Position yourself in your job search marketing materials (LinkedIn profile, resume, biography, etc.) as a good-fit candidate for them.
Targeting with purposeful networking helps you penetrate the goldmine of “hidden” jobs.
Think about the activities, interests, or conversational topics that fascinate, excite and energize you. Your passions are the things you can’t wait to get back to whenever you’re called away from them. The things that get you out of bed early. The things you love talking about.
Likewise think about how your passions converge with what you are best at doing at work.
Don’t be fake. Don’t make claims about yourself that you can’t back up. In other words, be genuine. Define who you are now and what you offer now – not who you want to be or the kind of person you want to be thought of.
Give a feel for the kind of person you are and how you used your top personal attributes to make things happen for your employers.
You are unique. Make your brand messaging reflect that. Translate the passions you have into content with personality. Don’t be afraid to pack a punch. Above all, generate excitement about you as a candidate. Get “personal” with your brand.
However, you need to be ever-mindful of relevant keywords and phrases to boost Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your online profiles and communications.
Personal branding with strong Personal SEO is a balancing act. Work on getting strong keyword density while generating chemistry for the kind of person you are.
Dig deep into the personal attributes and qualities that drive you and make you unique. How have you used these traits to benefit your employers?
Showcase your motivated strengths and areas of expertise. These are the ones you excel at, love doing and contribute the most by doing. Having a hard time identifying them? Try developing Challenge – Action(s) – Result(s) or CARs stories.
Find out how you’re perceived by the external world – the true measure of your personal brand.
Get feedback from those who know you and your work best – peers, management, staff, employees, clients, mentors, etc. They will affirm or make you question your own assessment of your value to your target employers.
7. Differentiation of Your Unique Value Proposition
Determine the qualifications, skills and areas of expertise that set you apart from your job seeking competitors? What combination of things do you have to offer that no one else does?
Quantify – or better yet, monetize – your ROI. What makes you worth the high cost of hiring? What makes you the best hiring choice?
Work on tight writing and to-the-point verbal communications of who you are and the value you offer. Don’t bore people with superfluous and irrelevant content.
Instead, stick to the point. But don’t neglect storytelling in your personal brand communications. Stories help people connect better to you and your potential value.
Keep yourself visible and top of mind with your target audience/target employers. Position yourself on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media, and relevant blogs.
In addition, develop a realistic online brand communications plan and stick to it. Be online or be invisible!
10. The 5 Keys to Build a Memorable Personal Brand Online
Finally, as you’re building your brand online, be mindful of your online reputation:
- Relevance – Stay on-brand and relevant while being visible to your target employers.
- Quality – Make sure no digital dirt tarnishes your brand.
- Diversity – Build a good mix of static online profiles/web pages and vibrant real-time content.
- Volume – Work on continuously building more and more search results for your name. This increases your number of diverse and accurate results on the first few pages.
- Consistency – Express the same personal brand message across all communications channels you decide to use.
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