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Whether you are self-employed or work for an organisation, these personal branding tips will help you think of your brand from a long-term perspective.
Haven’t we always heard of a colleague who got a promotion ahead of the others because he managed to have a better perception in the eyes of his boss? Well, perception management is going beyond office boundaries now.
Despite our quest for work-life balance, most of us are not in 9 to 6 jobs. There is always a need for out of the box thinking in our roles, no matter which industry or vertical we are in.
In such a demanding environment, let us try to answer a question: Am I commodity? Can I easily be replaced by someone younger and more affordable? If the answer is yes, probably we are working too hard but only for the present and not the future.
If we need to avoid being commoditized, how do we build a personal brand? The first step to that is to analyse, are we really different from the others? Yes and No – as a child and as a young adult we all have some abilities which may or may not be unique; however, over a period of time the way we pursue some dreams, hobbies or initiatives carves our personality.
One more thing to keep in mind is, the aim of personal branding is not to show that you are better than others but to present the best version of the unique combination of talents that you have.
You do not need money or a team to build your brand, but do keep in mind that this will not happen overnight, it will take years of passion towards oneself to see the results.
Think about this: if someone has to make a 5 min movie-clip about you, how would you be characterised? Think on those lines and find out what you are passionate about, what makes you stand out, what makes people want to talk to you. It should not be just your job title but the person you are.
People who work closely with you know you well, but a whole bunch of people who are connected online may not. Think about the kind of image you wish to create. Do you wish to be a thought leader or focus on a particular topic?
Think both offline and online – choose one or maximum two platforms to be present online. Try to ensure that your online and offline personalities sync beautifully. If you are a part of a large corporate, make sure what you publish online is your personal view and not the organisation’s. Make sure you do not reveal any information or share your opinion on a topic that is sensitive for the company.
Spend time connecting to people and sharing ideas. There is no need to be present at every event and every conference but make sure that you leave an impression about your work with those whom you meet. Whenever there is a relevant opportunity, you should be one of the people they think about, if not the only one.
An individual’s brand building which is done by an individual at zero expense will not happen overnight, so have realistic expectations. Celebrate your small victories, share important moments, give credit to your team and people whom you collaborate with. Applaud others genuinely if you wish others to do the same.
These are merely some do’s and don’ts for personal branding; through iteration and over a period of time it can be improved upon. The most important thing however is that your work should speak for you.
Top image via GraphicStock