May 26, 2016

How to Build Your Personal Brand

Tips to creating a strong personal brand.

What is your personal brand?

“We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

—Tom Peters

The term “personal branding” was first coined in 1997 by leading business-management thinker Tom Peters. A personal brand is formed by an individual’s professional reputation and online image, as well as personal characteristics such as work style, community engagement and worldview. It incorporates all the skills, talents and areas of expertise an individual has cultivated over his or her lifetime.

Needless to say, your personal brand is important. You should care about, grow and regularly check your personal brand. If you are not branding yourself, you can be assured others are doing it for you—and you may not be pleased with the results. In addition, your employer cares about your personal brand, because it can add to the credibility of the corporate brand, and your visibility and publicity contributes to corporate influence—both positively and negatively.

Here are four steps to building your personal brand and marketing yourself:

  1. Take inventory—What are your goals, passions, motivations and unique attributes?
  2. Develop an identity plan—Consider your appearance, personality and values. Be diligent, honest, relevant and interesting!
  3. Choose the right tools and channels—What are you posting on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter? What networking events, volunteer opportunities and continuing education are you getting involved in?
  4. Measure, refine and repeat—Walk your talk. Google yourself and ask others for feedback.

Building and enhancing your personal brand is a never-ending process that differentiates you from others by identifying, consistently articulating and leveraging your unique value proposition to everyone in your life.

Developing your personal brand will benefit you:

  • In your current job.
  • By growing your professional network.
  • In your career search.
  • In finding new opportunities and partnerships.
  • In becoming more personally fulfilled in life.

As always, in all branding, remember to be AB&C: Authentic, Bold and Creative. Good luck.