When you hear the name, Margaret Thatcher, what comes to mind? The Iron Lady? Powerful world leader? Respect?
The public perception of a person can make or break a career. It works the same way in the work place.
What is a professional brand, and why is important?
Build Your Professional Brand.
Professional branding is the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression of an individual, group, or organization in the mind of others. Your professional brand is the way in which you are primarily perceived, both internally and externally, in the marketplace. Create a brand allows others to associate value with your product – that product being you!
Your branding in the workplace may lead to exciting projects, career growth, recognition, and promotions. If you’re not thought of first in a positive light, you are at risk. Perception dictates how others see you, regardless of the intended results of your actions.
Additionally, branding has reached a new level of importance, including the necessity of managing an online reputation. Despite being digital, social media and one’s online identity have the ability to affect the real world perception of your brand.
When you Google yourself, do you like the results? When you search for an expert in your field within LinkedIn, do you show up on the first page of results?
Begin enhancing your professional brand:
- Define your career growth and developmental goals. What challenges do you want to solve within the next year? Which leaders inspire you?
- Determine what makes you unique. What diverse professional strengths do you possess? How do you add value to our clients?
- Outline your target audience: your network, broader team, peers, mentors, clients, corporate social responsibility (CSR) partners, industry thought leaders, etc.
- Develop your marketing strategy, a mission statement of 30 words or less, clearly defining your professional brand.
- Demonstrate brand sacrifice. If you want to be known as an HCM industry leader, your actions online and offline should reflect it.
- Schedule a virtual coffee or in-person meeting with your manager or a mentor to discuss your brand. Ask for his/her advice.
- Update your online profiles (e.g., LinkedIn, Twitter) to align with your brand.
- Reach out, meet, and collaborate with other colleagues with the same interests and skills as you.
“A brand is a story that is always being told.” – Scott Bedbury, Brand Consultant and the creator of Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign
What stories would you share about your professional brand? It’s not too late to add new chapters and headlines. How else can one improve his or her professional brand?
This article originally appeared on the ADP@Work Blog.