Well ladies, maybe our time has finally come! With all that is happening in the social landscape about equality for women… maybe, just maybe, us career-driven, hard-working, go-getting women can FINALLY get ahead. Maybe.
As we’ve heard many times before, success occurs when opportunity meets preparation. It is our responsibility as women, now more than ever, to really OWN our professional brand! I want to walk you through why this is important and how to go about it.
In the past couple of years, there has been a ton of hype and ‘buzz’ around the idea of individuals creating their own professional brand. It seems in this day of media and marketing, where content is king, and we are inundated with messages all day every day, that we all have to become professional marketers.
And now, it’s moved beyond marketing products, companies, organizations, etc. We as individuals now have to market ourselves.
Well… what does that mean?
It means women need to embrace
self-promotion and own our awesome!
It means it’s time to tell our stories, loudly & proudly. It means no one is waiting on the sidelines ready to push us to the top. It’s our job to pave our own path to the top (whatever that means for you in your own career).
Personal professional branding really does apply to everyone. The global economy is changing. There are millions of jobs and companies all over the world, with new ones popping up all the time. Women have more opportunities than ever before (even if it still doesn’t feel that way). Our ability to access these new, emerging, exciting opportunities depends highly on our ability to be found and connected in this global economy.
Regardless of the amount of research, work, or networking we do on our own, if we don’t promote who we are, what we offer, and why people should want to work with us, chances are we miss out on opportunities we don’t even know about. Or could never know about on our own. And we need to be marketing ourselves, telling our stories, and sharing our expertise online.
I once wrote a blog about how changing my professional brand landed me my dream job (at LinkedIn). Since that time I’ve worked with hundreds of companies and individuals alike to help them learn how to develop and promote their brands. And the one thing I’ve learned is… you have to be in it to win it! Most people give up or stop trying before they even get started. And I promise, in this marketplace, I’m sure many would agree, the time, energy and effort it takes to build your brand pays dividends! (At least it has for me and for many women I’ve worked with).
One thing I’ve found in my work is that the majority of people feel very overwhelmed with knowing where to start when it comes to creating their personal brand.
Here are key areas to focus on first:
A picture tells a thousand words
The right personal images/pictures to use on your personal branding pages (and why): a picture speaks a thousand words, and with today’s technology, we can easily take great photos in our day to day life. The secret here is to look how you’d really look if I met you in real life… on a good hair day!
Tell your professional story in a compelling way
Don’t just list what you do and where you’ve done it. Why are you good at what you do? What do you love about it? Why would I want to work with you over someone else who does what you do?
Promote your experience from a place of power
Know what the market is looking for and highlight your most powerful skills. What are your most impressive accomplishments or results? How would you talk about those experiences with your bestie over coffee? Explore how to be confident in talking about your accomplishments with ease and grace.
Visual storytelling is more important than ever
Videos, PDFs, infographics, and more… we don’t want to read about it anymore, we want to SEE it! What do you have to SHOW for your work? Any online articles or videos? Has your company or project been featured in the press? Think of the work you do day to day and what you can leverage and share.
Grow an authentic network that helps you soar
As we all know, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. (Really it’s about both). I believe relationships are the currency of life… and how we grow and nurture those relationships makes all the difference to our success. Being a good relationship builder is the most important skill we can conquer.
To expand these tips on ways to build your brand, check out this blueprint I created just for people like us!
My biggest piece of advice for women- just get started! Your brand doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t have to have all your ducks in a row, everything exactly how you want it. SOMETHING is better than NOTHING! So just get started… you can do it, I promise!