Personal Branding (why you need it at work)
How do people perceive you at work? Are you the go to person in your department? Or are you known as the clown, the average worker, the one who’s always late or the unreliable employee?
Most people understand that they have a reputation but very few go far enough to think of themselves as a brand. Let’s dive a little further.
Personal Branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. - Wikipedia
Think about what you know about your favorite brand or product. Let’s use cars for example. You probably stick with the same car manufacturer when making a vehicle purchase because you trust them. You have a relationship with that brand and it’s reliable. You know what you can expect. You have a great relationship with your dealer and service center.
Your dedication and loyalty to that brand is built on many different things beyond price and other superficial factors. Your loyalty is based on the experience that you have when dealing with the people and the products, who, consistently provide solutions that create a favorable outcome.
So back to the original question, how do people perceive you? If you are a nurse, are you the best nurse in the hospital? Do you have a great bedside manner? Are you known for something unique that you provide? If you’re a mechanic, what makes you stand out from the thousands of mechanics in your state?
Personal branding is about selling yourself as an experience, rather than just a professional. Sure you can be good at what you do, but what kind of experience are you creating for the people who are engaging you?
Here are two simple things you can do, right now, that will help you build your personal brand.
Know Who You Are
Who are you? Authentically? What gets you up in the morning? What makes you happy? What makes you sad? Discovering yourself will help you to build a fantastic relationship with the person you spend the most time with — YOU! What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you you excel at and what do you need to work on? Find answers to these questions and you are well on your way to becoming a better employee, consultant and person.
Stay an Expert
It’s not enough to be an expert in your field today, you have to be one tomorrow and next week into next month and next year. Stay current on trends, best practices and standards in your industry. Read periodicals and journals that keep you up to date with the latest and greatest. People gravitate toward those who are “in the know”. You always want to be the person who has information. This makes you trusted in your community of peers. Get certified, take classes, read books, whatever it takes.
Building a personal brand is so important because it will help you create a following of people who trust and rely on you. You will always have a network of individuals that you can tap into for resources, advice and counsel.
Always be encouraged to pursue your dreams and never stop working toward your goals!