If you were nominated for an Oscar Award and strolled down the red carpet, would you say you were wearing a Christian Dior when you were donning Versace?
Both designers are highly regarded, but they are distinctly different. So it is with personal brands.
When trying to create a personal brand – a professional brand that distinguish you from other executives on the ‘red carpet of the business world’, it is absolutely critical to be true to yourself.
While it might be nice to have the attributes and traits of someone you admire like Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet, at the end of the day, you are you.
This is why it is so critical for executives developing a personal branding strategy to take an inventory or assessment of their core values, beliefs, attitudes, and professional strengths.
You can certainly try to emulate others to enhance your brand identity, but identifying your own unique traits is really where it’s at. If you try to wear someone else’s shoes, your feet will hurt.
Here are some things we work on with our clients to help them take an accurate inventory as part of developing and maximizing their personal and professional branding position.
- Assessment of Personality & Interests: To feel fulfilled in your career, you must enjoy what you do. By assessing your core personality traits, you will better understand yourself. You can then appropriately plan your career to focus on things that you like and things you are good at doing.
- Cataloguing Your Skills & Accomplishments: Prioritize your core competencies with a view toward your interests. People naturally excel at things they enjoy.
- Creating a Career Roadmap: Once you have identified your strengths, you can begin to build your personal brand and your marketing plan. The resulting roadmap will enable you to chart the most appropriate career path.
- Promote Your Personal Brand: Make a professional impact by participating in LinkedIn groups, acting as a trusted expert and advisor in your field, preparing case studies, and volunteering as time permits. Let the world know about the unique you to get the word out.
By generating a robust professional branding profile that includes accompanying documents and specific communication strategies, there will be no mistaking the quality you offer.
Ultimately, your personal brand and your professional brand will be inextricably linked. Colleagues, superiors, and the larger business community will increasingly recognize your value and you will reap the rewards as your career advances in the direction you desire.
If you would like a free personal branding / professional branding consultation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.