What is personal branding? Our favorite definition is the one from Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Here are five must do’s for an impeccable personal branding.
1. Build a pitch
Have a 30-second pitch about yourself ready for the next time someone asks. Make it memorable! Don’t just say “I’m a consultant”. Instead, go with “I am a well-rounded manager with broad experience in different industries at a top tier consultancy firm. My projects include helping an airline negotiate new labor agreements with their unions, defining a strategy to enter the construction market of nuclear power plants, and improving the EBIDTA of a technology firm, to name a few”. After you have your first pitch ready, keep working on it! Develop oral and written pitch versions of 30, 60 and 90 seconds length.
2. Be online
No need to say it, it is mandatory to have an online presence. The basics are LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. Use other networks if it makes sense in your area. Do you want to go for the extra mile? There are many options available: create a personal website, upload your personal pitch to YouTube, create and maintain a blog to increase your credibility, upload content to SlideShare or other online knowledge sharing platforms. Remember to be strategic as you won’t have time to keep up with everything, so it’s better if you choose to do a few things really well.
3. Be consistent
Have a consistent online and offline presence – use the same name, e-mail and telephone number always. Whether it is LinkedIn or a paper business card, consistency is key. If your name is very common, instead of using name + surname, you may use two names + one surname or one name + two surnames (this changes a lot depending on which country you are based). In any case, it is not recommended to use more than three names. Also make sure you’re claiming all of the pertinent online domains and invest 15€ on a domain name.
4. Tell it, but more importantly, show it
The more experience you get, the more opportunity you have to reinforce your brand. Keep in mind that your pitch and online presence are only the starting point, but what really matters is that you prove to be an excellent professional. Do this by honoring your commitments, always deliver your best work and be ethical. The best branding is the one you get when others recognize your value and refer you to their contacts.
5. Do not relax
Personal branding, like your life and your career, is a work in progress. Definitely it is something to be built over time and not only when you are thinking about changing jobs. Keep up with your strategy, make regular updates to your online profiles and maximize the offline, i.e. real life connections. To meet people is still the best way to engage and create opportunities.
© IE Ideas.