Personal branding is for anyone who wants to have a fulfilling career and work in their zone of genius
Are you thinking, ‘but isn’t personal branding more for entrepreneurs or the self-employed?’
No, it’s not. Anyone who wants to build a career they love and are successful at needs to also build their personal brand.
Building your brand means having a vision for your life and for what you want to achieve, and then using your unique strengths and talents to make that vision a reality. It’s about letting people know what they can expect from you, and what value you can add to their business or organization. It’s about aligning your professional goals with your personal goals so that you ultimately can live the life you want for yourself.
Personal Branding is about finding your sweet spot – even if you feel stuck and have no idea what you want.
So you might be thinking, ‘that’s great and all, but I have no idea what my vision is.’ Or maybe your vision has changed over the years and you’ve found yourself stuck in a job or career you hate and you don’t know how to get yourself out of it (side note: if this is you, please know that you are not alone! I’ve been there too, as have 90% of my clients).
Whatever your situation, you can use the tools of personal branding to explore your strengths and passions, and put your current expertise to work to build a career you actually feel good about and love waking up for each day.
You are in control of your life
When you consciously start building your brand, you are taking control of your life. You automatically start sending a message that is clear, valuable and attracts the right people and opportunities to you – because YOU are clearer on what you want to be doing.
Whether you are looking to get a promotion, or change careers entirely, the first step is always understanding that you are the one in control.
I love it because it makes it clear that, regardless of your job, you need to stop thinking of yourself as an employee and start thinking of yourself as your own company. You need to understand that you are fully in control, and with that control comes the opportunity to create whatever you dream of. The chance is yours, you just need to take it!
You’re likely underpaid for the value you create
So now that you understand that you are in fact your own company, I want you to get in the habit of talking about ‘value’ instead of ‘work’. When you start to see the value you create, instead of the work you do, your mindset about your professional worth will start to shift.
As women, we often feel uncomfortable about owning the value we create. We tend to not toot our own horns, even when we’ve done the bulk of the work on or added the most value to a project. But when you’re building your brand, it’s paramount to claim the results of your efforts. Be proud of the value you bring to the table! Start taking note of your wins and stop being afraid to communicate them.
So generally speaking, many employees are grossly underpaid when you consider their contribution to their employer’s bottom line. And it’s no secret that women are often still being paid less than men for doing the same job.
So where do you start when you want to build your brand?
There are 4 steps to building a brand that will get you the career of your dreams, but they’re likely not what you think.
Step 1 – What do you really want? Dig deep and be honest with yourself. Think you don’t know? You likely do (this is where the honesty part comes in), but it might help to ask yourself what you would be doing professionally if all things were equal and you could start over again.
Step 2 – Understand where you add value. How do you already stand out in your current position? What are you know for amongst your colleagues and employer? When you work in a team, what role do you always fall into?
Step 3 – Make a plan (and make it measurable so you know how you’re doing). Start with the end in mind: your vision. Then work your way back and plan out your strategy. How and when can you take real action that will get you what you want?
Step 4 – Communicate. Create a strategy to communicate and promote your brand, and clean up anything (like your social media profiles) that doesn’t support your goals and vision.
Build your brand from the heart
I 100% KNOW that the secret to building the career and life of your dreams is a strong personal brand. I’ve seen it with my clients and my peers. I’ve experienced it myself. You can wake up every morning to a job that you love and is perfect for you, but you’ve got to be willing to dig deep, be honest with yourself, and put in the work. Building your brand from the heart is not always easy or glamorous, but it’s one of the best investments you will ever make in yourself.
You’ve got all the puzzle pieces in front of you, you just need to take the first step.