Developing Your Personal Brand

Personal Branding on Red Billboard.In today’s competitive job market, it’s not enough to have the required skills, experiences, and education requested on the job description. To truly stand out, you need to clearly demonstrate why you are the best (insert your profession here). This means identifying your X factor and being able to communicate that in a resume, during an interview, and ultimately, on the job. Your brand is what you will be known for and a critical factor in helping you rise in an organization.  

Having a recognizable Personal Value Proposition (PVP) is a tricky thing. As we move through our careers we often have so many experiences and learning points it’s difficult to settle on what to highlight. But that decision is critical. After all people don’t remember what you’ve done. They only remember (if you’re lucky) what you’ve promoted and only what you’ve promoted most recently. Your PVP, in its most basic form, is what people know and say about you.

The first step in promoting your brand is to know what you are hoping to build. I have clients start by designing an ad for themselves i.e. if they were a product or service, what would their packaging say about them. How would that differ from other professionals in the field?

Ultimate Career Brand Formula

An effective personal brand burst (elevator pitch) quickly describes how you can help the person you are talking to and, more importantly, how your approach goes beyond what others offer. Since every role and industry is different I have my coaching clients work through a simple formula to develop their value proposition. They then refine and personalize the message. For example:  

I specialize in helping XXX, by providing YYY that ensures ZZZ. This goes beyond the traditional approach/professional in the space by offering ABC.

The formula can be used for a overall function e.g. the HR profession or a specialized niche. For example, I specialize in helping to on-board new sales managers, by providing targeted training and coaching that ensures they quickly make the transition from individual achievement to leading through others. I go beyond the traditional approach by measuring historical output and demonstrating ROI for services provided.

Having a PVP is critical in setting yourself apart from the competition. If you can’t explain why you are worth hiring, promoting, or retaining (ideally through a lavish stay bonus) then you’ve lost your audience before you’ve begun.

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