It’s a new brand world. You’re branded, branded, branded. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU. – Tom Peters
The time is now to begin building your brand. And the secret to it all is authenticity. Each one of you are absolutely amazing and the world is waiting for you to make the big reveal.
Your story matters, who you are matters, and the world will be a better place for knowing the REAL you.
LinkedIn is the fastest growing professional social platform today. Building your brand on LinkedIn is a must. And this platform is used for more than finding your next job. Below are two very important statistics about LinkedIn:
- LinkedIn operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 433 million members in over 200 countries and territories.
- Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second.
Working for any organization can pose the challenge of being noticed by upper management. Have you ever wondered…does upper management even know I exist? How will I stand out from my peers? What is my competitive advantage?
All of these questions can be solved with a stellar personal brand accompanied with a excellent LinkedIn profile. Personal branding is about showing the world who you are and what awesomeness you bring to the table. Some people see LinkedIn only as a way to find the next job opportunity. What most do not understand is that people inside and outside of your organization are already aware of your brand. Truth be told, everyone has a brand whether they know it or not. Do you know your brand? If so, do you believe it is helping or hurting your career?
If your brand is helping to positively build the brand of the organization, you will be noticed.
I know what you might be thinking, “Meg, this sounds like a great idea, but how do I get a personal brand?” Discovering your personal brand is a process and will evolve over time. The hardest part is starting. That is why today we will begin with the first step in creating your personal brand by
Defining Who You Are. The section below was adapted from Susan Chritton, M.Ed, PCC in the book Personal Branding for Dummies. Learning first hand from Susan while obtaining my certification as a personal branding strategist has been a wonderful experience.
Defining who you are. “The beginning of any branding process is being able to clearly define that brand. In personal branding, the product is you! You must take time to get to know yourself and what is important to you. Defining who you are is the foundation of branding.” – Susan Chritton
Ask yourself these questions to start the process of defining who you are:
1. What do I love to do?
- What would I do for free? What motivates me to get up in the morning? This might be something you do for fun or a cause you are passionate about. Either way; this is all part of who you are and should be included in your brand. Or, you may love your current job. And if so, make it known to the world that you love what you do!
2. What is my life mission statement?
- Remember this is a process and to embrace the journey of self-discovery.
- Think of nouns that describe you (i.e. leader, strategist, entrepreneur, world-changer, etc.)
- Add in verbs that describe what you will bring to the world (i.e.inspire, educate, motivate, activate, coach, etc.)
- Write down how you would like to see the world? Example: I hope for a world filled with love, acceptance, and peace. Or, I would like to see everyone in the world know their personal brand and live out their purpose.
- Combine these three elements mentioned above to create a strong mission statement.
3. What are my strengths?
- Think about the unique strengths you bring to the world. Are you positive? Love people? Good at building organizations? Great at communication? Find out those traits that make you uniquely YOU.
- There are many ways to discover your strengths. There is something I use called 360Reach analysis that is a positive and anonymous way to find out how you are being perceived in the marketplace. Knowing and understanding how you are perceived is key to building your brand. Contact me if you are interested in utilizing this tool!
Congrats! You are off to a great start in defining who you are and developing your personal brand. Remember, you are awesome and I believe in you. And if you haven’t created a LinkedIn profile, do it today! If you need help, contact me below. I would love to be part of your branding process.
Stay tuned for Part 2 – Know Your Target Audience.
Not your average Spelling-Bee Champ…
Meg Weinkauf is a seasoned patron of nonprofits, for profits and a master influencer on social media. Known for her song-bird positioning, The Faithful Leader™ has been daring entrepreneurs to rebel…since she was a child. For any kind of modern job-seeker, The Faithful Leader’s guidance is designed to help position you to earn better work, career, & volunteer opportunities. Using modern tech & social tools, Meg helps people reach for their destiny. Your time can be spent better. Your days can be re-energized and you can rest each night knowing you helped the world. Let’s dare to do something more…because honestly, we can do better. To work with Meg, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. **Website coming soon**