Creating Your Personal Professional Enchanted Brand
There are lots of ways to create your brand depending on who you are and what you are after. Here’s a basic starter kit.
Research: It helps to do a little research to further uncover the skills and traits that make you distinct. I know it may be awkward, but Google yourself and see what you find. Also, talk to peers, colleagues, friends and family who have worked with you to hear what they have to say.
- What are 3 words that you would use to describe the best parts of me?
- What kind of work culture best fits me?
- What makes me special?
- How would you characterize who I am and what I bring?
Once you have a list of words that describes you, put them into a free word cloud generator like Wordle as that visual may help you. The biggest words are the ones used most often to describe you.
Personal Brand Identity Statement: Write a one or two-sentence phrase that accurately sums up what you do and what you stand for. It’s essentially your unique selling proposition, the thing you do best. The best personal professional branding statements are catchy, memorable, and attention-grabbing. It needs to be short while also conveying the value you provide to employers, clients, or customers. It should also have a certain level of intrigue that makes people want to learn more about you. For example: “I help thought leaders write great books in just 90 days. 300 satisfied clients so far.”
Portrait Photo: Like a good actor, get a great “head shot” of yourself. In many ways, this is your logo. I recommend doing what actors do. Find a local head shot photographer as they know how to create “career building” head shots, and they are also affordable. LinkedIn profiles with professional headshots receive roughly 14 times more profile views and are 36 times more likely to receive a message.
Personal Positioning: Think of it as your label. Are you a branding guru? Chief Confusion Officer? Visionary Technology Designer? For inspiration, explore LinkedIn and Twitter and see what others have done.
With those basics, you can begin to put your brand out there.
Email Signature: Use email to convey your brand with an email signature that speaks. You can include your photo, links to your social media accounts and even a phrase that highlights a recent accomplishment e.g., TED Speaker 2021, Featured in Wired’s Top 1000 Entrepreneurs.
LinkedIn: For some, having a presence on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or even Spotify might be the ticket. It depends on where your audience is, and where you need to build a profile. 92% of recruiters leverage social media to find high-quality candidates so you want your brand to shine there. Be sure to focus on the platform that matters most. Do not be daunted! Most have tools that make it easy. Regardless, put your brand on LinkedIn. It is the hotspot for executive recruiters and the “yellow pages” of talent.
Leverage Your Network: 85% of all jobs are filled through networking so be sure to build your brand with friends and family, peers and industry thought-leaders online and in person. The more connections you make, the faster you will build your brand. Use Jibber Jobber to keep track of networking contacts and keep a log of how they have helped you.
From here you can go even further by publishing content, speaking at events, producing a podcast and more. But, most of us have busy lives and our careers are just a part of it so be careful not to get swallowed up in the vortex here. Just enough, might be just right. The point is to be mindful about your personal, professional brand and take steps to be sure it conveys value for you.