I have clients that come to me and ask, “isn’t professional brand just buzz words?” Whether you choose to call it your brand or not, you still have one. Everyone has a personal and professional brand. You can either let someone else define your brand or you can ensure you are dictating who you are and what you would like to be known for.
1. You may say, “I don’t care what people think.” In any environment, it’s human nature to make assumptions about people based on the interaction we have. If you have a friend that is always late to meet you, that is now a part of her personal brand. If you are always the first one to help a co-worker, then you have established that being a team-player isa part of your professional brand. What’s the point? It’s not a matter of caring what people think, it’s a matter of being the best you and letting everyone see those characteristics everyday!
2. Be true to yourself. Be authentic in your daily interactions and if you are making a conscious effort to establish your brand. It can be easy to see if someone is trying to be something that really are not. Do a quick self-assessment and be yourself!
3. What do you want to be known for? Find that thing that you are an expert on or something you offer that is hard to find. What is the overall feeling that you give people when walking away? What mark do you leave on projects or assignments when they are complete?
4. Check your face. Someone that cannot control their body language could destroy their brand and career! Non-verbal cues tell us what people are thinking and feeling that may contradict what they are communicating. Be consistent and maintain composure through all situations.
5. Don’t forget your online brand. Employers will Google you and check out any social media profiles they have access to. Does your Facebook activity match your work personality? A genuine brand is something that goes beyond the 9-5. Be aware of the pictures and posts, ask yourself this, “would I want my employers to see this?”
If you have never thought about your professional brand before this could be overwhelming at first. Know this, your brand is built on consistent behaviors, actions, and attributes. What’s the point? You will make mistakes, you could say the wrong thing to a co-worker and it could not derail your brand. The key is consistency in your actions. If you have an off day, those that know you will recognize that. Start today in being the best you! #changestartswithyou