One of the best ways to make sure you’re not overlooked at work is to actively manage your personal brand.
Before brand became a buzzword and spread beyond product marketing to people, people were concerned with their reputation. These days brand includes reputation, but it’s more expansive than that. It’s the overall impression — the mental picture – that’s conjured when people hear or speak your name. It’s a collection of your personal characteristics, presence, and results that represent you to the world.
Master Your Brand
The challenge is to be the master of your own personal brand identity. That means that instead of letting others define your brand for you, you pinpoint the elements of your brand that you want to have stand out and those you want to tone down, and put the control for designing your brand in your hands, where it belongs.
The first steps in mastering your brand are to know your value and declare your value.
- Know Your Value. What makes you distinctive? There is no human being who is exactly like you, who can tackle a project the way you do, lead others the way you do, think through challenges the way you do. Pinpoint what you do that differs from what others do and the value that it brings. Start with your top two talents. For example, you’re handed a time-sensitive, complex project. You immediately gather a team of experts to lay out the plan for the critical deliverables. Your talents are 1) your ability to quickly figure out the expertise needed, and 2) influence the right people to get them on board. Those talents are priceless in an organization.
- Declare Your Value. Be able to voice your unique value in straightforward, useful terms that are easy to understand. While you don’t need to be telling this to everyone, you should be able to easily describe your value to yourself. Continuing with the example above: “My unique value is that when managing time-sensitive, complex projects, I quickly figure out the expertise needed and influence the right people to get them on board.” Declare your value to yourself regularly so that you keep your assets top of mind. This makes it easier for you to demonstrate them at the moment they’re needed.
Mastering your brand also requires packaging and positioning — the ways in which you present yourself in the organization and what you’re doing, or not, to get your best work seen and known. Later this week and next I’ll cover how to package and position your brand so you’re being seen the way you want to be seen by the right people.
Question: Do you think managing your personal brand at work is important? Or do you have a question or comment? You can leave a comment by clicking here.