What do you think about when you hear the words, “personal brand”?
There’s a lot of talk about personal brand and careers these days. So what’s it all about?
Personal Brand After 50
The term “personal brand” was probably first used by Tom Peters in 1997. So it’s relatively new to everyone.
But if you’re over 50, and haven’t had to think about looking for work for a long time, it may seem like you’re waking up to a strange new world where all the rules have changed. A world where the internet rules.
I’m in the same boat. I’m really just getting started with social networking. I’m learning how to navigate these new and often murky waters as I go along. But one thing’s for sure. There’s no going back.
Company loyalty is a thing of the past. It’s up to you now to demonstrate your value. And building relationships online is today’s currency.
You have a personal brand, whether you want it or not. So you might as well be in charge of defining that brand.
Breaking It Down
I admit, I don’t like thinking of myself as a brand. What has helped make it easier for me is to break the concept down into a few of its components, using words I prefer:
- Authenticity. Your brand is about being who you are, not putting on a persona to influence or impress others. Self-knowledge is necessary if you want to be clear about your personal brand. So ask yourself, what’s important to you? What are your values, purpose, strengths, and passions?
- Consistency. Your message, how you present yourself, even your appearance must all be consistent. What you do should reflect who you are. Make sure the perceptions other people have about you are positive ones.
- Providing value. I like to think of this component as being of service. Identify what you bring to others, what makes you stand out from the crowd. Communicate how you can solve employers’ or clients’ problems.
- Visibility. This one is difficult for some Boomers. To be effective in this new online world, you’ve got to get out there and share who you are with others. Start learning about social networking, begin to create a positive online presence. Find the people who matter to you and connect.
Those words aren’t so scary to me. Are they to you?
Making Personal Brand Work For You
If the word “brand” does not resonate with you, try using words that you can connect with, words that are meaningful for you. If you need to, make up your own name for “personal brand”. No one has to know. As long as the basic components are the same, the results can be the same, too!
Creating an authentic career may involve the often hard (but fun) work of reinventing yourself. It will involve learning new technology and becoming responsible for your own success. But since branding is not going away anytime soon, why not start now?
What words would you use? And how can you make your personal brand work for you?