Personal Branding, The Catalyst To A Great Career!
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room”– Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon.
While he said this in the context of a company’s brand, it applies to You as well, Personal Branding is Marketing You, the Individual.
The Importance of Personal Branding
Personal Branding is a critical yet most underrated and often overlooked soft skill, for both professional and personal growth. Most times decisions about your career progression and salary growth will take place when you are not in the room, as it is the others who are really reviewing and deciding for you. But I want you to pause for a moment and think about your personal brand beyond that….
For me, personal branding is just as much about determining internally, what’s important to me, what my values are, what kind of work I want to do; as it is about the externally, of promoting myself and making it easy for the right fitment, true to my core values.
Achieving Effective Personal Branding
Personal Branding is most effective when it is authentic, because only then can you be true to it. The best way to find out your authentic self is to know your values, needs, drivers, interests and stress behaviors.
Six Hacks of Personal Branding:
Hack #1: Psychometric Assessment- We in Samcara use the World Renowned “Birkman Method”, since it integrates “dual perceptions” into one assessment – perception of others and perception of self. Through this unique integration it can describe key aspects of the interactions between individuals and groups resulting in more effective advisory than other assessments such as MBTI.
Hack #2: Personal Branding in Three Words-These three words will become crucial to your brand’s identity as they will serve to be your guiding principle. They will form the foundation of your mission statement.
Hack #3: Personal Mission statement- Integrate the three words and build your mission statement. This mission statement will help you remain true to your core values. It will help you grow both personally and professionally.
Hack #4: Personal ‘Board of Directors’-The board is an informal board which will help you preserve your core values, grow, and rejuvenate. It will help you through your ethical dilemma, life transitions, and difficult choices.
Tip: choose at least 4 members for the board, ideally keep an odd number to maximize value from them.
How to choose your ‘Board of Directors’? Who should comprise your board?
● People you admire and respect – personal / professional.
● People who care about you and want you to succeed.
● People who are non-judgmental and compassionate yet Decisive.
Tip: The best board members dispense wisdom in a Zen like manner- by asking questions, drawing analogies, and making dispassionate observations.
● People from diverse backgrounds and perspectives
Tip: They can help you overcome limitations of conventional wisdom yet ensure you remain true to your core values.
● One person who is virtual. By virtual, I do not mean remote, but a far acquaintance or someone you admire, but have never met.
Tip: Whenever you are faced with a tough decision, just imagine what this virtual member would say about your situation and what advice she might offer.
Remember: Be in touch with your board on a regular basis yet use their time judiciously. Don’t pester them for mundane or daily decisions.
Hack #5: Social Media- A powerful tool in personal branding, if used effectively can maximize your brand visibility, reach, and engagement. This will then lead to a proportionate increase in your personal brand value. Identify your social media platforms. I recommend using two platforms for ease of management and consistency of content. Remember consistency is the key to build your brand. LinkedIn and Twitter are good for professional brand building whereas Facebook and Instagram are great for building your personal brand.
Tip: Get a professional photograph for LinkedIn and other social media sites. If you can’t afford a professional photographer then do google how to take great photos and use those tips.
Hack #6: Content Refresh Rate and Reputation Management – This is extremely critical for personal brand building. What it essentially means is- What is the frequency at which you should post and How do you monitor your online reputation?
Content Refresh – My suggestion is to do it at least two to four times a week. Ensure the content is fresh, yet there is no content fatigue. Follow the 80/20 rule – post things of interest to your readers 80% of the time and 20% should be self-promotion.
Tip: Don’t flip this rule and talk 80% about yourself. Nobody likes to follow people who only toot their own horn.
Reputation Management, the art of “Managing Your Brand”- Most sites have an auto update policy which informs you when someone has posted a review. You should have this switched on to effectively manage your brand.
Important Note: Social Media calls for great responsibility and accountability, it takes years to build a brand, but one lapse can completely kill it. So, Act Responsibly!
Samcara is adding a module to its online platform which will help you in personal branding. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog, as much as I did in writing it. Look forward to your comments below.
Author: Gopika Lall – Consultant, Branding and Digital Marketing at Samcara. A marketer by profession, a dog lover, and one with a passion for art, travel, and fitness, Gopika is an artist and has run two half marathons. She has been a volunteer for The Centre for Hearing – Impaired Children, Jamshedpur (CHIC) for the past 35 years.