Building a personal brand

As you progress through your career you will be noticed by your peers, your senior executives and your colleagues in the wider community. How you are perceived is up to you, and that’s where building your personal brand comes into play. Spend some time planning, and you’ll find you’ve made a good investment.

Business concept for marketing and advertisement – Build your brand typed on a vintage typewriter

The extrovert introvert

Many of us are naturally reluctant to take centre stage, but at work we often have little choice. If we want our work to be seen, if we want to bring colleagues along with us on a particular project, or if we need to influence our senior management, then we have to stand up and be seen and heard. Tricky if you have introvert traits or even if you just tend towards shyness in some situations. Building a personal brand might seem to be the last thing you want to do, but trust me it helps. By building your brand you are giving yourself a suit of armour, a professional persona that can be turned up a notch when you need to step into the spotlight.

Take part

Your ability can’t be seen if you don’t show it. So, however capable and talented you are, if you shy away from engaging with others you won’t have a chance to show them how good you are, and they will miss out on your contribution. So take a deep breath and step forward, volunteer to part of that project or approach a new set of people to explore their opinions on a piece of work. In short, get yourself out there. No-one will be aware of your skills if you hide your talent away.

Develop your persona

What do we mean by a persona? Simply put, it’s the way that others perceive your character. So think about how you want to be perceived, and be sure to present that side of yourself in the workplace. This is not about pretending to be anything that you’re not, none of us can keep that level of pretence up for long and in any case, it will come across as fake. Think of it as taking the best aspects of your own character and putting them on show. Whether you’re the gregarious outgoing type or more serious and contemplative, there’s great value to be had from a mix of personalities in a business environment and each brings its own contribution.

Build your network

Building a network is important at every stage of your career. Your peers can help you to develop, give you the feedback that you need to improve, and help introduce you to the people that will make a real difference to your progression. It’s no different whether your a CEO or just starting out, we all benefit from a healthy network around us. So take time to identify the people that you want in your working life and invite them to work with you, formally or informally. An honest relationship is key, so make sure you’re open about your goals and objectives and invite constructive advice. It’s a matter of give and take though, so make sure that you’re supporting others too. 

Get online

There are a host of different ways that we can interact in the digital space, and each one of these can be really helpful when we consider projecting our personal brand. One important key to success is to tailor your online presence to the environment. So leave that wedding photo for Facebook, and think about using an appropriate professional image for LinkedIn. If you’re a gardener, then an informal photo could work really well but if you’re a finance professional then perhaps business dress would be best. Make sure that your messaging includes the key points that you want people to associate with you, and remember that your online self is not only public but accessible, so be careful out there!

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