Your personal brand is one of the most important areas of focus in your professional life. Your personal brand is your reputation – the perception of you held by the external world. It is the combination of personal attributes, values, drivers, strengths, and passions you draw from that differentiates your unique promise of value from your peers, and helps those evaluating you to determine if they should hire you for your dream job.
A well developed personal brand identifies those qualities and characteristics within you and communicates a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels – online and offline – designed to resonate with your target audience. You may want to check out the article, Why Personal Branding?
I developed a similar process for my clients. Here is a simplified version of my Personal Branding System in 8 steps:
1. BRAND PERSONA
A persona describes who you are and the qualities that make you, you. They are your distinct attributes, characteristics, vision and values.
2. BRAND PROMISE
A brand promise is your unique value. How does someone benefit from working with you? It is what sets you apart. Do you offer unparalleled quality? Do you provide creative ideas? Do you enjoy solving problems?
(Work on projecting what you intend to accomplish so you can put together a strategic action plan to get there.)
4. CORE STRENGTHS
Get feedback from those who know you best – at work, at home, anywhere. The true measure of your brand is the reputation others hold of you in their hearts and minds. Notice how they introduce you to others. Ask them what your top brand attributes and core strengths are. How does your self-assessment jibe with their feedback?
6. TARGET AUDIENCE
Determine where you want to fit in (kind of job position and industry). Learn what decision makers in that field are looking for when they’re assessing candidates. Create your personal brand messaging around what keywords and content will attract them. Find out where those decision makers hang out, position yourself in front of them, and capture their attention.
7. BRAND STORY
A personal brand story is a short pitch (1‐3 sentences) that communicates your value (what you are the best at), your audience (who you serve), and your promise (how you perform your value uniquely).
Using the answers above, craft a short brand story. Here is my brand story:
I use my vibrant creativity, confidence and passion for personal branding to motivate individuals to develop spirited personal brands for the purpose of landing their dream job.
You can use your brand story in all of your online and offline communication. It is perfect as part of your resume in place of the objective area. For your social media profiles, consider writing an extended brand story that is several paragraphs long.
8. BRAND MOTTO
A short sentence that encapsulates your brand story.
Using the answers above, craft a shot sentence brand motto. Here is my brand motto:
Vibrant and creative personal brand design.
Your brand motto is perfect as part of your branded email signature. Mine also has a branded icon. A note on email addresses. Always use your real name in your email address. It is your calling card.
This process is extensive, but the value in doing it is tremendous. In job search, defining and communicating your personal brand can help pre-qualify you as an excellent candidate and strategically position you to land your dream job.
Amanda Houck is the chief brand designer for AUTHENTIC SOCIALL, a personal branding agency specializing in creating an exceptional online presence for individuals looking to land their dream job. Amanda loves to explore concepts and ideas with individuals on their job search and is always open to a complimentary idea session. If you are interested, contact Amanda at firstname.lastname@example.org.