Polishing Your Professional Brand
In marketing, a significant amount of resources are dedicated to consistently communicating the strength and value derived from a product or service. This is called brand management. Brands are articulated by appearance, language, actions and the experience that is produced when a person encounters that brand. Just as marketers strategically influence business brands, leaders need to make a conscious effort to cultivate a professional brand.
What characteristics would colleagues attribute to your performance in the workplace? What characteristics do you want colleagues to attribute to you? If your answers to these two questions are out of alignment, it may be time to update the status of your professional brand. The price of a polished professional brand is a little time and deliberate effort. Here are 3 ways to help you make the investment:
- Know Thyself. Identify the strengths for which you wish to be known. Start by listing 3 areas of expertise and examining how you might improve those areas.
- Know Others. An extensive network is a workplace asset that positions you to be a "connector." Once you understand your skill gaps and opportunities for development, fill gaps by expanding your network to include others with complementary skills.
- Make a Name for Yourself. Since your presence and visibility are observed by others, it is important to take ownership of those observations and shape the perceptions being formulated about you. The key is to consistently project the attributes that you want to highlight as part of your professional brand.