All of us need to understand the importance of branding. 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 in Fast Company
Branding demands commitment; commitment to continual re-invention; striking chords with people to stir their emotions; and commitment to imagination. It is easy to be cynical about such things, much harder to be successful.”
Success has the components of ‘smell and image’. All brands have a certain energy to them, but only some have alluring charisma that force which draws people in and makes them dream, crave and what follows invest. We can’t help but look and admire. Make no mistake. In today’s executive job search landscape, branding is required, not optional.
Celebrities excel at personal branding. Angelina Jolie, Jack Nicholson, Bono, Russell Brand (this one has ‘brand’ even is his surname…) project certain aura. We immediately know what they stand for and what they are about. They skilfully reinforce this belief. It’s no accident. They deliberately create a personal brand.
Let’s go somewhere now. Let’s go to your office. Imagine yourself at your desk. Imagine yourself interacting with your colleagues and superiors. Do you project executive presence? Executive presence is the confidence you project as a leader. It’s your energy and passion. It’s strength and decisiveness. It’s your communication style-verbal and non-verbal. If you have it, you command the attention, respect and trust of others. Its absence can disrupt your effectiveness and your career.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and building a personal brand takes time too, but it’s the best investment you can make. You can decide to take full control of your personal brand today and dictate how people perceive you. You can choose where on the scale of strength, charisma and influence you want to be. Your personal brand determines your career success. Building your personal brand to secure your next position is not just about your CV/resume anymore. We always mention this to outplacement clients that it is now all about branding; what makes you special?
“Know Thyself” was written on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Legend tells that the seven sages of ancient Greece, philosophers, statesmen and law-givers, who laid the foundations for western culture, gathered in Delphi to inscribe “know thyself” at the entry to its sacred oracle. Self-knowledge is the starting point of personal branding. When you run an advertising campaign for a product you need to know it inside out. How is it different? How is it better? What difference does it make? Today’s competitive market does not forgive mistakes and half-hearted effort.
What are the top two selling points that make you unique? What value do you bring to the table? Figure out how relevant it is to your industry. People are looking for specialists not generalists when recruiting and promoting now. If you can become the best at what you do you will become sought after. What benefits to a company can you constantly deliver? Use different social networks like LinkedIn and Google+, for example, and create your online profile. This is useful as part of outplacement support where brand building is vital to create a differentiator.
Connecting with people is the best way of building your personal brand and getting your name out there. When people know you, trust you and know what you can offer, they are more likely to do business with you or recommend you to others. Networking isn’t about selling; it’s not even about talking. Networking is about listening
Once your personal brand is in place, now the real work begins. It’s all about walking the talk.
You can find more information on how to create an outstanding personal brand here. If you think we can help you land your next role get in touch and we can arrange a chat.