You've heard about personal branding and know you need a personal brand – but do you really know what a brand is or how to define it?
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In the old days, it was called "making a name for yourself."
Oh, the printer isn't working? Call Bob – he can fix anything. Bob clearly made a name for himself around the office as the go-to-guy when it came to fixing things no one else dared touch. That was his brand. He didn't have to promote it. Word simply spread around the office in the same way that things go viral today.
But you're not Bob, and you do need to clearly define your brand before it gets defined for you. To do that, you'll want to answer the following questions:
(Note: Come up with at least five answers for each question. Of those five answers, pick the top 1-3 and see what commonalities there are between them. You should start to see your story coming together.)
1. What do you do better than anyone else? Ex: I have a personable style of communication that I get complimented on all the time.
2. What are your unique talents? Ex: Building relationships.
3. What do you really take pleasure in doing? Ex: Being part of conversations about things that matter.
4. What are the results of you doing what you do? Ex: Our social media audience is growing and engaging with our brand online.
Being able to clearly and honestly answer these four questions will help you hone in on what your brand is.
Think of it this way: When you're asked what you do for work, you can respond with your title or with your tagline. Your tagline is basically the end result of the work you do, and it's much more meaningful than a title. For example, if your title is "social media manger" or "brand marketing manager" at a consumer goods company, your tagline might be: "I create strong bonds between consumers and the products they use in their daily lives by engaging online audiences in conversations about things that matter most in their lives."
Another way to consider your personal brand is to ask yourself what value you deliver, how you deliver it, and to whom you deliver it.
Now that you know what a personal brand is, make sure you're clearly communicating it on your social networks and on your resume! Consistency is critical in delivering the powerful message that is uniquely yours.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Atrium Staffing blog.
Michele Mavi is Atrium Staffing's resident career expert.