In a competitive market, it’s more important than ever to make a great impression on those you wish to impress—whether that’s prospective employers or clients. That’s where developing a personal brand comes in. Inc. explains that “personal branding allows you to establish a reputation and an identity while still maintaining a personal level of trust and interaction.” BrandYourself shares that the experiences, skills, interests and personality traits that make you unique and different from others are what make up your personal brand.
Bottom line: a personal brand can help you get noticed, expand your network by making strong connections, strengthen your credibility and so much more.
Here are several tips to create a personal brand, with a little help from PwC (check out their comprehensive Personal Brand Workbook):
Define your strengths. Think about your past successes at work. What feedback did you receive about your contributions? During your regular reviews from your boss, what kinds of compliments do you get? Now, consider the skills that you would like to improve upon. What are your potential strengths and how do those go hand in hand with your current strengths?
Brainstorm ideas to capitalize on your strengths. This could be taking on new duties at work or at a totally new employer. Your goal is to come up with a list of possible opportunities to build upon your strengths each day.
List your important weaknesses. By “important,” we mean the weaknesses that are holding you back in some critical way or otherwise harming your career. Once you’ve identified the weaknesses that need correction, come up with ideas to leverage your strengths to overcome them.
Pinpoint your values. Reflect on who you really are as a person. What matters most to you in your life? Once you determine your top four or five values, describe what they mean to you and how you strive to live those values in your personal and professional life.
Dig deep into your passions. You might have a passion for running but look deeper. Perhaps your love of running is really about pushing yourself to your limits, about setting goals and working toward them. Similarly, if you love to sew, is it the joy of creating something that gets you excited?
Express your purpose. Think about the big picture and what you hope to achieve in your life and career. What kind of impact do you want to have on others? Why do you do what you do? Keep your values and passions in mind to ensure your purpose fulfills your passions and lines up with your values.
Put your portfolio together. You’ve outlined the pieces of your personal brand; now it’s time to bring it all together. Draft a succinct personal brand statement to summarize all of the above. Write a resume that doesn’t just inventory your skills and past employers but also showcases what you bring to the table. Create a profile on LinkedIn (and any other social media platforms) that aligns with your personal brand. Network, both in person through forums like LinkedIn. And build your reputation through activities like publishing content online and speaking.
Establishing a personal brand will help you recognize the skills and assets that make you unique and valuable. Give your career a boost by putting time toward this exercise. When you know who you are and what you stand for, you’ll be better able to articulate that to your colleagues, current employer and future employers.