Building Your Personal Brand
This article includes my personal takeaways from inspiring presentations by Morgan Bell (Program Manager @Microsoft) and Googlers on the purpose of personal brand, and some tips for those who build a personal brand.
What is personal brand?
Personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Think about how you are perceived by others and how you want to be perceived. Your personal brand is the sum of the actions and perceptions that others have about you based on those actions. If you think you are awesome, but no one knows the quality of your work or if your perception of yourself is disconnected with reality in some other way, you don’t have a meaningful personal brand.
Identifying your strengths & values and writing a personal brand statement
In order to identify your strengths and values, you have to spend time collecting information to understand how they influence your work. You can use these steps as a guide:
Self-reflection on your brand
- What is your superpower?
- What do you do better than anyone else?
- What are your top values - your operating principles?
- What do people frequently compliment you on or praise you for?
- What energizes you or ignites you?
- What are your true passions?
Writing a personal brand statement
- Review the words and phrases others have used to describe you, and that you like to see yourself as being.
- Generate a list of descriptors that would accurately describe actions you are naturally good at, have learned to do well, and enjoy doing. Start with a core statement [ NAME ] is [ ________, ________, and ________].
- Add some color and a verb string (She is known for […]; She is the “go=to” person for [...])
- Put it all together!
Example: I am a relationship builder who cares about empowering others to achieve their potential through creative and fun experiences. I’m also the go-to person for strategy planning and connecting people with ideas for long-term growth.
Managing Your Brand
There are five key elements to consider when managing your brand.
- What is one strength that people say you have?
- What is one strength would you want people to say about you?
- What can you start/stop doing, to manage perceptions?
- How can you generate ways to increase your visibility?
- What can you do to promote your work?
- What can you do to bring your skills to life?
- How are you different from the person sitting next to you?
- What is it about you that few people can duplicate?
- How is this relevant to your audience?
- Are you dressing for who you want to be?
- What does your workspace say about you?
- How well do you communicate/present your ideas?
- What other ways can your appearance help or hinder you?
- Who are your main stakeholders?
- What is their preferred working style?
- How can you expand your network?
Tips for creating and growing your brand
- Start thinking of yourself as a brand. When you think of brands, whether for a celebrity or a company, what do you think of? Something good or bad? Perhaps a logo or a certain color scheme? Start thinking about how you will show up and how others will remember you. Be consistent in your creative styling, color choices, tonation, and even username.
- Audit your online presence
- Build a personal website
If you are a developer, you can build your website with GitHub Pages by following this tutorial. Otherwise, you can use services for non-coder to create your website such as wix.com, wordpress.com. Then, you should get a personal domain that is similar to other social network handle and easy to spell.
- Be purposeful in what you share
- Associate yourself with other strong brands