Personal Brand Building: The first steps

We market ourselves every time we leave the house, pick up the phone and interact online. Even during a relaxed day off you may be building or losing credibility and personal brand equity. Avoid feeling pressured or concerned over this by creating a system to manage your personal and public image.

The facets of your communication must be continually updated just as you would keep job skills up to date. Whether current or cutting edge, you represent yourself and your priorities through your image. The quote below found on Wikipedia references the paper by researchers Lair, Sullivan and Cheney featured in the Management Communication Quarterly Journal.

“Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.”

Whether you are strategic or not, you package yourself. In my biased but professional opinion, it is far better to be strategic!

A personal brand that works for you can lead to or ease your way to more life balance, leadership opportunities, money, relationships and more.

Here is a portion of a checklist I sometimes provide to seminar participants so that they may begin to analyze and identify next steps.

Image Building Checklist 2015 Part 1: Personal Brand Foundation

o Map out short & long term personal and professional ambitions (what you would want to accomplish, key messages on what you want your personal brand to signify, leadership goals)

o Analyze your current personal brand: How do you view yourself?, How are you viewed in terms of your personality/communication style/leadership ability? A professional 360 brand analysis can provide an objective result.

o Who are your personal brand icons (these people can be colleagues, friends, acquaintances, public figures in business, science or the arts)? Can they provide any inspiration to you in terms of strategic direction and tactics?

o Verify the details on your organization’s corporate culture and strategic direction Discover or confirm that your personal brand is in alignment with that of your organization