Are you actively building your brand?   Most professionals don’t make a conscious effort to create a professional brand.  They are focused on getting through the workweek, or one major project or challenge after another. Mindful brand building becomes a low priority. Don’t be that person. Today we’ll show you how easy it is to take the first step to building a strong brand.  What is that first step?  Self-assessment.

How are you unique?

What selling points separate you from the crowd? What unique value do you offer to your clients, employer, and partners?  If you are unclear as to what your top value is, you may not be promoting or portraying your unique features.  Review your history and make a list of the things that define you.  Next, narrow that list to the top one or two things that you feel best represent you. Those items could fall into one of many categories, including an area of expertise, a sought-after skill, a strenuous certification, or a record of commitment to a cause.

Be completely honestly about yourself. 

If you do not have a strong sales record, don’t mislead others (or yourself) by presenting yourself as a sales superstar.  Certainly, you don’t want to lie about a skill that you do not possess. To be successful in your career and to form sincere relationships, it is important to be honest about your strengths.

Be specific and sincere.

Avoid falling into the trap of painting your brand with broad strokes. In other words, think of how you are truly unique.  One example of a broad stroke is the term, “industry leader.”  How many industry leaders could we find if we performed a search on LinkedIn?   Perhaps tens of thousands?   If you were asked in what ways are you regarded an industry leader, do you have concrete accomplishments and the reputation to support that claim? Rather than a vague characteristic, capture the attention of others by showing how you are a specialist. Present a specialty that you can easily support with experience, accomplishments, and credentials.

Meet a market demand.

In what ways are you valuable to an employer or your industry? This is important. If employers do not value the skill or knowledge that you treasure, you may want to reconsider featuring that skill as a brand element.  A compelling and attractive brand is one that resonates in the marketplace.  An example of a lackluster brand element may be expertise in a software application that is outdated or something that is on its way out.  You want to hold the brand of an expert in the software app that is on the rise. Be the one that knows the industry well enough to know the skill that will be in great demand next year.

The bottom line is that you want to develop a brand that genuine, proven, and specific.  If you are struggling with your brand, contact me.  Through coaching sessions and assessments, I can help you define, develop, and promote a valuable and targeted brand.