Corporates globally and locally have mastered the art of telling their story and influencing perception through proper branding. From Visible elements such as brand colour, logo, and slogan to consistent action and communication. These companies are able to show their purpose, shape reputation, increase their value, awareness, and customer experience. However, Branding is not a corporate affair. Professionals also brand themselves as a way of setting up and strengthening who they are and what they stand for in both career and personal life. No matter the level one is at on the career ladder, personal branding is encouraged as a way to differentiate yourself.
A strong personal brand requires one to tell their story in a way that people you interact with can form a personal connection with your brand. This often leads to getting job offers, promotions, and other career opportunities. On the other hand, a weak personal brand leaves you liable to be passed by these opportunities. Below are ways you can strengthen your personal brand and elevate your career;
- Assess yourself
This will give you a glimpse of your past professional identity and help create a new career path as well as strategise on how to design your brand. It is advisable to conduct a professional SWOT analysis. Identify your strength in terms of skills, qualification, education certification, training. Be honest while analyzing your weakness as it is for long-term growth purposes. Limiting factors such as inadequate skills, lack of experience should be reviewed.
2. Determine your area of specialty
Having done a personal audit, from the strength analysis, one is able to determine what industry to venture into. You can now focus on what you want to be known for. Work to advance and build on the skills to give you the confidence needed to market your identity. Also, work on the weakness. Be open to relevant opportunities as they will shape your reputation. Seek a mentor who can guide you as you venture into your specialization area. Industry research is very important once you decide on your specialty. Find out leading companies, personalities, blogs so that you are up to date with the industry happenings.
- Develop a Narrative
During Personal brand conceptualization, Take time to develop a coherent story that explains why you have chosen the path you are taking and the value you bring. It shows self-consciousness and it can be used to create a connection with your audience. Be honest about who you are as it would be unfortunate to birth a brand based on a lie. Remember, Your story is as interesting as you make it.
- Build a Presence
This is creating a face for your brand by being visible. For digital presence, grow your online presence and engage with the right people. Be consistent in telling your narrative across the different platforms and do not be shy in letting your connections know your career direction and where appropriate ask for help, advice, or business. For offline presence, Make yourself visible through ways such as networking, attending workshops, volunteering, writing publications in areas of expertise among others.
Market your brand every time you get an opportunity. Make your family, friends, colleagues, and client your brand agents as what they say about you will in most cases determine your brand value
- Learn and Grow
Be consistent and committed as you move forward with your brand. Do not stagnate. Keep learning, growing, and getting better at what you do and every now and then seek feedback to assess the value of your brand.
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