Personal branding is...
“the most effective way to clarify and communicate what makes you different, special, and valuable to employers and customers –and use those qualities to guide your career”
I'm a great believer in the power of personal branding, not just as a tool for career success, but as a way to help build a life that will make you happy.
I won't bore you with definitions of what personal branding is - others have done it, and probably better than I could!
But I will tell you this, personal branding should be:
What use is personal branding if you can't apply it to your life and see results? I have read far too many books on personal branding that spent 80% of their pages convincing me it was worth doing, and then only in the remaining 20% did they tell me how to actually do it. I like to switch that to 10% on why you should use personal branding and 90% on how to do it.
Easy to understand
Personal branding, like any business-related field, tends to use complicated language and create new and more “professional” terms for simple ideas, which generally just makes it hard to muddle through and understand. Personal branding can be intimidating, and this doesn’t help! While I may use ten words where two could have worked, I make sure to keep things as clear and simple as I can.
Focused on building a life that works for you
A lot of personal branding content skips straight to how to present yourself online, in interviews, in ads - but that misses what I think is a key component of the whole process: figuring out who you are, what you want, and what will make you happy (what I call the "find" step). Too many people end up being very successful in careers and roles that make them miserable - personal branding done properly will make sure you're not a miserable "success". It's not just for finding a job, either - it's a tool you can use throughout your career to steer it towards happiness and fulfilment.
Keeping these three things in mind, I have developed a three step system, based on the stages that you go through when building your personal brand. First we have the Find step, focused on finding out who you are and what you want; this is the key step, since it will be the foundation on which we build. This is where we look at things like inner values, attributes, goals, and how you're currently perceived. Once we've completed this, we move onto Craft, focused on building the materials you need to succeed, always guided by the results of the "find" stage. This is where you would build your CV, bio, achievement log and other materials. And last but not least, we move onto Communicate, the action step. This is where you create an action plan, implement it, and start communicating your brand and seeing clear results.
Of course, this isn't a once and done - often there will be a bit of a loop, checking in with Find to make sure you're still aligned to the right goals, tweaking Craft to create new materials or update old ones, and always coming back to Communicate to take action.
On this page you will find exercises to help you find, craft and communicate your personal brand. I also lead workshops, give lectures, and love speaking to anyone who will hold still long enough! You can learn more about that (and see some of my slides) in Workshops and Speaking Engagements.
If you have any questions, have feedback, are having trouble with the exercises or want some recommendations, feel free to reach out!
Personal Branding Steps (& Exercises)
I regularly add personal branding exercises and materials to this site.
Don't forget to check back for new exercises, or subscribe below to be notified whenever there are updates!
Coming soon... my personal branding book!
I've been working on my very own book on Personal Branding for Career Advancement for the last couple of years, a practical guide to achieving success in the workplace. This is not how I originally planned to become an author but life takes you interesting places!
If you want to know as soon as it's out, sign up below to the Book list (I promise there'll be no spam or other updates, just the "the book is out, let's party!" announcement and perhaps a promo code or two).