Personal Branding – The History
Personal branding is an eternal topic. It is a tangible part of everyday life. We continue to award “people” based on their achievements. Think of awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize, Pulitzer, and the Heisman. All of these are awards that affect a personal brand.
Although many of us would aspire to be in those kinds of categories that is just not typically realistic. More than likely you are quite happy like I am to have a piece of this social planet to call our space, our people, our squad. Within this space, we have a job to do. Our personal brand is our history. We do correlate our personal work portfolio with the company we are associated with. Here is the challenge. We do not live in a work environment that sustains long tenure. It's a fact and I am sure there could be a ton of finger pointing to point the blame. That is not the purpose of this post. This is a reality. What can we personally do about it?
Personal Branding – Is It Personal Security?
I am going to go out on a limb here and say yes. Yes no matter what. You will run into companies who discourage this. Here is a rhetorical question. What happens to you when the music stops and your the last one without a chair? This is a simple visual and I am sure you get the point. However, there is also a balance to this. Your personal brand can and should help the well being of the company you represent. Building your personal brand should not come at the expense of the company you work for but be an asset. If it becomes a distraction then it becomes a liability. So my answer is still a resounding YES when it comes to personal branding but there must be a balance. No matter what, you and your family must come before your company. Companies can be like a morning fog. Here for a minute and disappear the next. Perhaps not the company itself but it overall internal structure. So this is not a pessimistic approach but definitely, a realistic one that I am sure many of you can attest to. So how does one go about building a personal brand?
Personal Branding – Some Practical Steps
Consistently build your LinkedIn contacts. Have a goal and don't be random. High connection numbers do not mean quality relationships. We meet and greet new people practically every day. Did you make a difference in their life? Did they make a difference in yours? Have a reason to connect and work at cultivating that connection. LinkedIn provides tools such as endorsements and recommendations to help keep you connected. What if someone congratulates you on a work anniversary via LinkedIn? DO NOT apply the crickets in field approach. RESPOND. Normal face to face communication clearly dictates that we would at least say: “Thank you”. Do not let the digital world corrupt your social customs.
Have a personal blog. I love my blog. It is mine. No one can take this from me. This is the space that allows me to speak my mind, pen my thoughts and share it with the world. A personal blog allows you to highlight your skills, talents, and ideas in a completely unique way. If you are comfortable with writing it helps your network peer into your soul so to speak. There is the clinical job title side of you and then there is the side that stretches much further than the typical tasks you work on each day. If you have any tips or steps on personal branding please add them in the comments below.
Personal Branding – Personal Lessons
Neglecting your personal brand can have some pretty adverse results. For me, my blog and my network have always been an encouragement. It builds confidence. It builds character. When I have neglected my brand and the music has stopped…it can feel quite lonely. However, that is life. That is a reality. The days are gone where someone starts and ends their career in the same location and company. Personal branding is personal security. It's personal social capital. It facilitates connections that are truly lasting and beneficial. It allows you to rise above the clouds that happen in life and see the light. Time to make some noise.