What word best describes you as a professional? If you find that word, you can use it as a tool to carve out your personal brand. Start by making a list of 5- 10 words that best describe you. Test each word. Play with it. How does that word help you tell others who you are as a professional and what value you can bring them?
The word in itself is not your brand. It’s a seed. You have to cultivate it and grow it over time. For many people, the word will change, which usually signals some kind of promotion or career change. Don’t cling too tightly to any word or brand. There is always a time to adapt and change.
In making a list of words for myself, the first word was reliable. Nice, but not good enough. I couldn’t run a business for 8 years without being reliable. That word is a good start of a brand statement for someone early in their career. Later on my list, I found the word strategy. Everything I do – whether writing or coaching – depends on strategy, finding a message and a way to deliver it. My brand is about helping other people market themselves and deliver messages. To do that, I have be a good strategist, which is the simplest way of presenting my brand.
Find your word and work with it. Practice telling other people who you are as a professional. Think about how you will present yourself when looking for a job, seeking a promotion, or introducing yourself to a co-worker or client. Branding sounds like a mysterious concept. It’s not. We do it all the time. The trick is to brand yourself so people want to work with you. Start by find your word.