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4 Steps to Personal Branding Success

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4 Steps to Personal Branding Success

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    In light of my new book,

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    internationally today, I want to share the main process used in the book that will help you build a powerful brand.  Personal branding helps you stay very productive because you can focus on projects you enjoy and have a sense of purpose and passion behind them.  It’s really hard to be productive, without truly loving what you’re doing, because motivation is so critical to achieving maximum results.  There are many other benefits for personal brands, such as the ability to demand a premium price, just like Donald Trump has done with the ties and steaks that wear his name.  Also, you gain greater visibility and acknowledgment for your work and opportunities that your peers won’t be able to maintain.  The four step process (DCCM) I’ve developed over two years ago walks you through self-discovery, all the way to maintaining your brand as it grows.  Today, I’m going to briefly walk you through each, so you have a better idea of where you stand and what you need to do to find your passion, monetize it and lead a happy life.

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    Discover

      In order to really understand who you are and carve out a career path moving forward, investing in self-discovery is critical. In fact, if you don’t spend time learning about yourself, your values, personal mission, and unique attributes, you will be at a disadvantage when marketing your brand to others. Start by removing yourself from distractions and ask yourself, “Who am I?” and, “If I could do anything, what would it be?”  Also, when discovering your brand, you’ll want to lay out a development plan for yourself, that includes your current situation and your goals broken down in intervals, from one year to twenty years in the future.  It’s extremely important to have a destination in your head and on paper before proceeding to create your brand in step two.  The most successful individuals will be able to merge their passion with expertise, so that they have the fuel needed to push through adversity, and the skills required to solve customers problems.  Also, selecting an unsaturated niche that you can claim during this stage is significant for positioning your brand as unique.

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      Create

        Creating your personal brand is all about forming marketing materials that position you as extraordinary in your niche.  When I was at college, I used to bring a resume, cover letter, CD portfolio, references document, and business card with me to interviews.  I even had my own promotional website.  With the rise of web 2.0 and all of these social media tools, we can get far more creative these days.  For instance, now you can create a blog, or a video resume on YouTube or a LinkedIn profile to separate yourself from the other individuals applying for the same jobs as you.  The point of creating your brand is to have several materials online and offline that can help sell you.  They are all used as talking points that can get a conversation started between you and your audience.  Online, they tell your audience more about what you do, what you offer and the benefits of working with you.  Offline, they are used in situations where people need a visual display of your brand.

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        Communicate

          Now it’s time to use everything you’ve created to let people know you exist.  The communication stage is focused on allowing you to gain the necessary visibility to be recruited based on your passion or what people readily see online.  The are many direct and indirect methods of attaining this visibility, such as commenting on blogs or attending in-person networking events in your industry.  You can even do some freelance writing for magazines, newspapers, online websites and blogs to get your name out there.  When it comes to your own blog, if you build it, they won’t come.  You have to find way to attract your audience, which could mean joining forums, interviewing experts, starting a newsletter, networking with people in your industry and much more.  In this step, you’ll want to put on your “personal PR” hat and leverage your materials to pitch the press, which includes bloggers and traditional journalists now.

          Maintain

            As you grow, mature, and accelerate in your career, everything you’ve created has to be updated and accurately represent the current “brand you.” It’s very easy to be careless with your online brand, leaving your websites months or even years old or your LinkedIn profile positioning you as an intern, instead of a marketing manager.  Going back to everything you created and updating it with fresh information is critical.  Also, you need to monitor your brand online to ensure all conversations about you are positive and factual. Brand maintenance also captures reputation management, where you have to own your Google results by ensuring that you have the right social networking profiles setup and monetized, as well as enough content created or press mentions to own the top ten results for your name in Google.

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            Dan Schawbel

            Dan Schawbel is the leading personal branding expert for young professionals.

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            Last Updated on August 25, 2021

            Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

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            Why Personal Branding Is Important to Your Career

            As a recruiter, I have met and interviewed hundreds of candidates who have no idea who they are.

            Without a personal brand, candidates struggle to answer the question: “tell me about yourself—who are you?” They have no idea about who they are, what their strengths are, and how they can add value to the company. They present their CV’s believing that their CV is the key to their career success. In some ways, your CV still has its use. However, in today’s job market, you need more than a CV to stand out in a crowd.

            According to Celinne Da Costa:[1]

            “Personal brand is essentially your golden ticket to networking with the right people, getting hired for a dream job, or building an influential business.” She believes that “a strong personal brand allows you to stand out in an oversaturated marketplace by exposing desired audiences to your vision, skillset, and personality in a way that is strategically aligned with your career goals.”

            A personal brand opens up your world to so many more career opportunities that you would never have been exposed to with just your CV.

            What Is Your Personal Brand?

            “Personal branding is how you distinctively market your uniqueness.” —Bernard Kelvin Clive

            Today, the job market is very competitive and tough. Having a great CV will only let you go so far because everyone has a CV, but no one else has your distinct personal brand! It is your personal brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy—you.

            Your personal brand is your mark on the world. It is how people you interact with and the world see you. It is your legacy—it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

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            I have coached people who have very successful careers, and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that would them to their next role. They are having what I call a “career meltdown,” all because they have no personal brand.

            A personal brand helps you become conscious of your differences and your uniqueness. It allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

            Don’t get me wrong, having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However, there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market, and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

            Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile, and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you can avoid having a series of career meltdowns.

            Your Personal Brand Is Essential for Your Career Success

            In her article, Why Personal Branding Is More Important Than Ever, Caroline Castrillon outlines key reasons why a personal brand is essential for career success.

            According to Castrillon,[2]

            “One reason is that it is more popular for recruiters to use social media during the interview process. According to a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, 70% of employers use social media to screen candidates during the hiring process, and 43% of employers use social media to check on current employees.”

            The first thing I do as a recruiter when I want to check out a candidate or coaching client is to look them up on LinkedIn or other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your digital footprint is the window that highlights to the world who you are. When you have no control over how you want to be seen, you are making a big mistake because you are leaving it up to someone else to make a judgment for you as to who you are.

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            As Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

            In her book, Becoming, Michelle Obama writes about the importance of having a personal brand and her journey to defining her personal brand. She wrote that:

            “if you don’t get out there and define yourself, you’ll be quickly and inaccurately defined by others.”

            When you have a personal brand, you are in control. You know exactly what people will say about you when you leave the room.

            The magic of a personal brand is that gives you control over how you want to be seen in the world. Your confidence and self-belief enable you to leverage opportunities and make informed decisions about your career and your future. You no longer experience the frustrations of a career meltdown or being at a crossroads not knowing what to do next with your career or your life. With a personal brand, you have focus, clarity, and a strategy to move forward toward future success.

            Creating your personal brand does not happen overnight. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once, but many times.

            The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone, the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you can test the viability of and fine-tune your personal brand.

            5 Key Steps to Creating Your Personal Brand

            These five steps will help you create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire with your career and in life.

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            1. Set Your Personal Goals

            What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next five to ten years? What is important to you? If you can answer these questions, then you are on the right path. If not, then you have to start thinking about them.

            2. Create Your Unique Value Proposition

            Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these four questions:

            1. What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
            2. Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
            3. What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
            4. What makes you different from others like you?

            The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

            3. Write Your Professional Story

            Knowing who you are, what you want, and the unique value you offer is essential to you creating your professional story. People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

            4. Determine Which Platforms Will Support Your Personal Brand

            Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity, having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

            5. Become Recognized for Sharing Your Knowledge and Expertise

            A great way for you to promote yourself is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking, etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract clients, the opportunities, or the jobs you desire.

            The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact, it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand, someone will do it for you. If you let this happen, you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

            Standing out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves, and this is where engaging a personal brand coach is a viable option to consider.

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            As a personal brand coach, working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

            Other People’s Stories

            Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. In his article, 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding, Rafael Dos Santos presents the best Ted Talks where speakers share their stories about the “why,” “what,” and “how” of personal branding.((GuidedPR: 7 TED Talks About Personal Branding))

            Take some time out to listen to these speakers sharing their stories and thoughts about personal branding. You will definitely learn so much about how you can start your journey of defining yourself and taking control of your professional and personal life.

            Your personal brand, without a doubt, is your secret weapon to your career success. As Michelle Obama said,

            “your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.”

            So, go own your story. Go on the journey to create your personal brand that defines who you are, highlights your uniqueness, and the value you offer to the world.

            Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

            Reference

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