Building a Personal Brand

Building a Personal Brand

Your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is your reputation. And your reputation in perpetuity is the foundation of your career. Gary Vee

Your reputation (how others see you and what they say when you are not in the room)  is an asset and your digital/ personal brand is a key component in how you are perceived. It matters.

‘We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, whole others judge us by what we have already done’ A Longfellow.

Your reputation is about your past accomplishments, but your personal brand tells an aspirational story too – focused on the career you want – not the job you have. It is your chance to tell the story and make the connections necessary to help others see your potential.

This is especially important for older generations as others tend to focus more on your experience than your aspirations. You have to tell the story your way, if you want to get heard.

Your Personal Brand is your bridge from the past to your future because you can influence the discussion and craft the narrative, on what you can contribute to your world. It is about being the brand ambassador for yourself on the value you provide to others.

The Hikmaty Personal Brand Grid includes:

ONE   Brand You

This is about building the home for your brand – one system – a story – an identity – your approach – your content – a place to curate, synthesise and sense make. To get to the essence of and store: who you are, who you want to be and what you want to be known for. By pulling it all together you will tell a different, connected and more consistent story.

TWO   TASKED Story and POV

This is your Personal Brand story.

TASKED is Talents, Attitude, Skills, KnowHow, KnowWho, Experience and Deliverables.

POV is your Point of View. It is about having opinions, contributions and something to say that is valuable to others. It could include a Book, a TED Talk, a Webinar, your Resume, your Portfolio, your Profile, an Elevator Pitch, a Movie Trailer or Highlight Reel, a Motto and 20+ great keywords.

THREE   Identity, Image and Style

Not Influencer style but ‘SELF’ styled. Over 80% of communication is non verbal so it has a part to play in your personal brand. It shows confidence in who you are, what you stand for and how you want to display that to the world. It may be about what you wear, or do or say. This may mean everything to you or nothing to you at all. It is not the total YOU – it should give you a confidence boost and enhance not detract from the message you want to give.

FOUR   Projects and Testimonials

This is about what you deliver and what others have to say about your good and great work. Work gets done in projects. You get to showcase your talents through projects. Find projects to work on. Volunteer for projects. When these projects conclude, or you move jobs/ roles ask people to give you testimonials. Show how to do this well by giving others testimonials and recommendations. This builds reputations.

FIVE   Resume and Portfolio and Profile

Your career story. These can come in two’s.

Write your Resume/ CV firstly in a simple word format for a recruiter automated tracking system/ algorithm.

Then, if you want to, create a better designed modern template version to showcase your brand for a human – that reflects your style and is easier to read.

Keep them both short and focused on a role.

Write your Profile to explain ‘This is me!’ tailored to your audience/ the role as the introduction on your CV and then craft the 200 word UVP (Unique Value Proposition) ‘This is Me Profile’ to showcase your brand story for everywhere else.

Your Portfolio is different – it is your creative space to say ‘Hello World’ and showcase who you are. Have this as a physical document or file, website, on social media, a video or a mix of all of these or any other way that works for you; because it is not about the algorithm – it is about bringing more of YOU into the world! You can share it online, take it to interviews or give it to people as an introduction to YOU! You can be creative.

SIX   LinkedIn and Network

If you are working in the Corporate or Government Sectors; or working within the Business to Business world – become a Pro in how you use LinkedIn.

If you are not in these sectors, start your digital presence where your customers are or where you want to show up online. However understand that whilst working in your business you may use other social platforms more; but in working on, and representing your Business – a professional LinkedIn profile as a Founder or Leader adds credibility.

This is about crafting an active digital presence to create and build relationships. You use it to grow a social following to get noticed, to secure a better job, to sell more products, to find better/ wider opportunities and, most importantly, to be seen by customers and recruiters.

Update your LinkedIn profile and build your brand consistently, not just when you think about changing jobs. Get active – create a system, collect information, build your story, find your LinkedIn voice to tell your story, demonstrate your upskilling with credentials and courses, get proof from others. It is good to include recommendations and accolades for projects, awards, articles and accomplishments. Also support and help others by giving them feedback and endorsing their LinkedIn profiles.

Your personal network and their connections are one of your biggest career assets. This is about who you know and who they know. Including your family, inner circle, work team, personal team, friends, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances, social media connections and followers. You are not seeking vanity metrics but more meaningful connections and engaged followers. Over the years the more you invest in quality relationships the more you will gain.

SEVEN   Social Story Dialogue

If you search for yourself on Google what comes up in the first 3 pages?

If you read your social media profiles and feeds does it tell a coherent story, and give a message that matches how you want to show up? People you meet, potential customers, potential partners and recruiters will all Google you; and then probably go to LinkedIn. You cannot control the Google feed but you can influence it significantly by managing your personal brand narrative online.

This is your ‘living’ digital presence. How you use your social media voices to tell your ongoing story is what will show up. Each channel has a different approach, so you need to find your voice that matches the tone of the conversations there.

This is not a one size fits all cut and paste activity – you have to tailor your message. It is best to find a couple of channels that match your brand and master them. You can use posts, articles, books, webinars, talks, newsletters, feeds, comments, likes and connections. You can use the new LinkedIn Creator Space to promote the content you want people to see.

EIGHT   Love Life

There is a phrase that says ‘If you love life, it will love you back!’. This is not about a digital presence – it represents YOU as a human and your unique physical presence. It is about how you choose to show up in the world. It is not so much about the words but more about your energy, your outlook, your character, your charisma, your gravitas and your overall presence – what you give out to the world!

That is the Hikmaty Personal Brand Grid.

Create your own personal brand recipe

The Grid provides an outline – one way to look at your personal brand. You can build on this to match your work, preferences and experience. You can just focus on your digital presence or build a valuable network or add in what it means to be a key person of influence in your sector or even become a YouTube sensation. You create your own recipe!

Make a choice – Do you choose to be a beacon of energy and hope that attracts people or someone who hides away or watches others from the side-lines? It is not about being an extrovert or introvert – it is about being confident in being YOU and showing that you love life!

You have a personal brand. Just recognise whether you actively promote your personal brand or don’t – you have one. It might not be well fed but it exists. It is about ownership, responsibility and a decision to drive your own bus!