You are a young professional. You have just landed your first job and you look forward to a successful and rewarding career.
A top priority for you is to begin building your unique personal brand.
Why is it a top priority?
Competition for prize positions in any organization is intense; there are fewer opportunities available than there are candidates. To be in the game, you need a personal value proposition; an expression of who you are and what you stand for.
If your identity is unclear, decision makers won’t be able to accurately assess your capabilities to perform a new role.
Those who have carved themselves out a brand position will get the opportunities; you will be by-passed.
Why is brand building a process?
First, you don’t determine your brand, others do. You may have a brand objective but in the final analysis, what others judge you to be IS your brand.
And, second, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a time to perform, be witnessed by others and have them reach conclusions about who you are.
It’s about what you DO, not about what you SAY you do.
Why does your brand have to be unique?
Your end game is to stand out from everyone else; to be different from your competition in some meaningful way.
If you’re not unique you’ll go unnoticed. You’ll be invisible and your brand will be lost in the noise.
Your brand statement must cut through the clutter and stand apart from others.
These 4 steps will you get started in creating your brand statement.
1. Look at what you’ve always done well. Lead with results you have successfully delivered not on how you achieved them. For example, focus on the “competitive strategies” you created rather than on the research techniques you used to help develop them.
2. Keep the number of key result areas to a minimum to create your niche image. You can’t (and don’t want to) be all things to all people. Try and be an expert in delivering focused value rather than claiming superlative performance across many fronts.
If “competitive strategies” is your thing, stay with it and don’t water it down by claiming too many other competencies; it won’t be believable.
3. Process skills are important, but position them as secondary elements of your brand. If you are a whiz at linear regression analysis make it part of your “here’s HOW I deliver superlative competitive strategies” conversation.
4. Create your ONLY Statement as the way to express your uniqueness and how you stand out from the crowd. “I am the ONLY one who…” is the claim to establish you as the ONLY one who does what you do.
That’s all you need to begin your branding journey.
Create your ‘straw dog’ version.
Live it everyday.
Ask for feedback to see if your actions match your intent.
Tweak it on the run.
Roy Osing (@royosing) is a former President of TELUS and Current president and CEO of the consulting firm Brilliance for Business, with over 33 years of leadership experience covering all the major business functions including business strategy, marketing, sales, customer service and people development. He is a blogger, content marketer, educator, coach, adviser and the author of the book series Be Different or Be Dead.