The New Year is already upon us and is already shaping up to be a great year. The recession is fading into the distance, companies are starting to increase hiring and the flexible workplace is expanding. The world is also becoming a much more competitive place, where a strong personal brand can be the difference between receiving an opportunity or not. In many cases, starting up a business or even internal promotion may require a rebrand – especially if you are planning on relaunching a career in 2015.
As this is such an important area, and can be the difference between success and failure, we have turned to Joseph Liu who is a career and brand consultant, who heads up ILUMITY coaching. He has previously worked for top brands including Haagen-Dazs and Glad or you may have seen him on TEDx speaking about career change.
Why is it important to build a personal brand?
Your personal brand defines who you are and what you stand for in your career, life, and business. Having a strong personal brand is so important for the following reasons:
First, it helps you prioritise. Knowing what you do and don’t do provide you with an internal compass to help guide decisions. These may relate to business opportunities, the causes you support, or the types of clients you want to serve.
Second, it drives distinctiveness. And distinctiveness makes you more memorable. If you think about the most memorable people or brands out there, they tend to be those that stand for something.
Finally, a strong personal brand allows you to more effectively market yourself to others. When you have a strong personal brand, you can be more specific and intentional about how to market yourself. Ultimately, a strong personal brand allows you to focus your life around the reputation you want to create, not the reputation others just arbitrarily create for you, something I wrote about in my recent article, “The difference between personal branding & self promotion.”
Mum Plus Business: We think this is wonderful advice. We regularly receive questions from startups who are overwhelmed with what they should be doing and what their Unique Selling Point (USP) is. Focusing on these areas should help provide guidance and principles they can build from and turn to when they feel lost.
Where do I begin when trying to define my personal brand?
Start with who you are, what you do, and how you do what you do.
Who you are involves defining your professional title, demographic identifiers, and personal credentials. These can often feed into the first sentence of how you describe yourself on a very basic level in your social media profiles.
What you do involves pinpointing the key skills, both hard & soft skills, you not only possess, but also the skills for which you want to be known.
How you do what you do involves getting very clear about which aspects of your personality come out in everything you do, your tone of voice, your approach to work & life, which is often rooted in your core values.
Mum Plus Business: Maybe a good way to answer these questions is to sit down in a quite room with a piece of paper and recap the different jobs and responsibilities you have held. It can also help to take a look at family albums, CV’s and other memorable paperwork.
What are the top questions you should ask yourself when developing your personal brand?
What are the unique aspects of my personality of which I’m most proud?
What do I consistently hear from friends and colleagues about who I am?
What are my key skills that have driven the greatest impact in my own life & the lives of others?
If I could be remembered for doing one thing, what would it be?
What are my guiding principles that drive everything I do?
Mum Plus Business: This is fascinating as it is a combination of not only our own views but also those who are closest to us. It helps create a more objective set of answers, and may even lead to people uncovering skills they never thought they had. We at Mum Plus Business are huge advocates of mothers maximising personal skills and working closely with others to aid their development.
What is your favourite quote?
I have a ton of favourite quotes, mostly related to perseverance, bravery, and the power of belief. However, the one that stands out in the context of personal branding is: "If you don’t tell your story, someone else will." – Carmine Gallo
Mum Plus Business: So true.
Joseph Liu is a Career & Brand Consultant, Speaker, Associate Certified Coach, and Founder of ILUMITY Coaching. His passion is helping people bravely relaunch their careers — coaching professionals and business owners to develop their personal brands, make the most of who they are, and present themselves more powerfully during times of career evolution. His work is informed by his experiences from professional coaching, 10 years marketing international consumer brands including Glad, Gü Puds, and Häagen-Dazs, and four major brand relaunches. Joseph has served as a featured speaker at TEDx, MarketingWeek Live, and the Edge Digital Marketing Conference. Follow him on Twitter @_JosephLiu.
If you would like to chat further about defining & marketing your personal brand, drop Joseph a note. You can follow Joseph on Twitter and ILUMITY Coaching on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest.