By Kaelyn Dickinson
Branding yourself is essential for professional development. However, in order to “brand” yourself it is essential to know who you are, what you want and where you are trying to go. This is the time when you can market yourself, learn and build. Let’s explore the quotes below to understand how [we] can build our best professional brands.
Step 1: “Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” – Bruce Lee.
To build your professional brand, it is essential to ‘absorb what is useful’ – this means being strategic on how you plan on building your professional brand. Useful ways to absorb professionally include: having a professional mentor that aids in your professional development, attending seminars about your career interests or even learning ways to leverage your strengths on LinkEDin or in your resume and cover letter. By rejecting what is “useless” you reduce any unnecessary distractions or even confusion about you have about branding yourself. This too allows you to create a general framework of how you intend to develop professionally. By creating a general framework – you now can “add” what makes your brand unique which is YOU.
Step 2: “Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are” – Malcolm Forbes
After you have built your framework and added your authentic seasoning of yourself, you must then understand your value. This is the time that you accept and value what you are so, you can effectively market your true self. This is not the time you pretend to be someone else, it is the time you market the truth. Professionally marketing your truths means you leverage your professional experiences and responses to those experiences during your elevator pitches, job interviews or cover letters. For example: Tell me about a time you worked on a group project and failed/succeeded ? To answer this question be honest, professional and strategic.
Step 3: “A brand is a person that has a voice, evokes emotion and spreads a message” -Richie Norton
At the end of the day, You are the person that makes your brand come to life. So, if you have your brand on paper or even online – it’s time to wear it, personify it, be it – THE BRAND. This is the time you sell yourself professionally – like a new suit or pair of shoes, make people notice that you professionally stand out in the crowd. Make people interested in your by being unique, speaking up, evoking emotion and spreading a message. This is not the time to hide in the shadows – this is the time to be Bold and Brilliant.
Step 5: Every time you post a photo or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand”. – Amy Jo Martin
Sometimes technology is not our foe, it is our friend. Social media can be used as a platform to create your own ‘digital footprint’ – a mark unlike no other. With Social media, things spread fast – use this fast paced world to your advantage. One hashtag, movement, or idea can put you on the map professionally. So, when you post status be strategic in thinking about where it can go , who it can touch and how it can catapult you into your next professional career move.
Step 6: “Make your brand name meaningful” – Oprah Winfrey
Last but not least, make your professional brand ‘meaningful’. There is nothing worse when you have a salesperson selling a product they don’t like or they don’t believe in. So, in other words believe in yourself and your professional brand. When professionally marketing, speak with clarity, precision, use active language and powerful words to get your point across. You should have a quick pitch about yourself that is memorable and should want people to know more about you. At the end of the day, have fun marketing your professional brand and be proud of your accomplishments. Don’t compare yourself to others but be your true authentic self.