Owning Your Personal Brand Starts with YOU

When it comes to designing your personal brand, it’s essential to understand yourself. If you don’t, you can’t possibly represent your best self to your ideal clients and others who need to know about you, like colleagues, cohorts, and coworkers. You need to know how you’re wired and be able to communicate this effectively. From there, people will choose whether to work with you or not based on what you’ve shared about yourself.

Understand how others see you.

Do you know how others see you and how you come across at work? If not, take a survey. Ask friends, family, colleagues, coworkers, managers and others whom you trust what they think your top five skills are and the top three words that come to mind when they think of you.  

By knowing who you are, what you want, and what makes you unique, you will be able to clearly communicate your goals and unique value to people in your network, whether they’re internal people from other departments, potential clients or potential employers.

Consider your top priorities.

Your top priorities can help you design your personal brand and attract your ideal client or other professionals who need to know about you to help you advance your career. One healthcare executive regularly posts photos of her marathons, family, and speaking engagements. This shows she has a solid work/life balance with a focus on health, and can easily wow an audience. Ideal positioning to attract leadership opportunities in healthcare, her target audience. She landed a senior leadership role with a major healthcare organization and was also elected to a board role with her professional association.

By sharing her interests and values online and off, she’s attracted people and organizations with similar values, which helped advance her career. (That and a stellar work history with bottom-line results.)

Choose your career goals.

Choosing your career focus is an important part of your personal brand. When you love what you do, that enthusiasm is going to shine through to your potential clients and other professionals in alignment with your brand – and your career – and attract them to you. As a result, people will be eager to work with you.

Before you decide on your career focus, it can be helpful to consider other jobs you’ve worked. What did you enjoy doing—presentations, leading others, teaching, etc.? What did you hate doing—researching, administrative tasks, etc.? When you know what you enjoy, you can fill your business and career with more of those tasks. As for the tasks you hate, consider delegating or outsourcing them to someone who enjoys them.

Own your experience.

There are many ways you can show your expertise. Maybe you’ve been quoted in a popular trade magazine, news media or well-known website. Maybe you’ve been thanked for your insight or your help with a difficult project. Ask for recommendations about your work on LinkedIn or, with permission, display your recommendations and testimonials on your website or blog.

Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your work. Enhancing and owning your personal brand can help you create a career you’ll love for years to come.

For more help up-leveling your personal brand to attract right-fit opportunities to you, check out my upcoming online workshop, “Leverage Your Personal Brand to Propel Your Career” sponsored by the Association for Talent Development (#ATD).

© Wendy Terwelp / www.knocks.com / All rights reserved.

Wendy Terwelp is an award-winning career expert and personal branding strategist who works with high-performing leaders and organizations who want to advance careers, rock networks, and up-level their brands online and off. Follow her @wendyterwelp.

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