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  • Writer's pictureYolanda King Stephen

Personal Branding Tips for the Busy Professional

Updated: Sep 29, 2020

Four steps for the busy professional who wants to build their brand

Recently, I spoke with a group of high school students about the importance of branding. To my surprise, they understood the purpose of a personal brand and they were eager for more. Here are four quick tips that I shared with them that can help any busy adult start the journey to personal branding.

1. It's Okay to Start Small

Quite frequently, we want to see immediate results, but strong brands influence over time. Think about the companies we (or our children) know and love...Starbucks, McDonald's, Southwest, Nike, Tory Burch. They all evoke various thoughts an emotions once their name is mentioned. What do you evoke - timeliness, excellence, great writing skills, avid developer, kick-ass graphic design? Or do people find you difficult to work with or always running late? All of these are brand attributes. What characteristics do you believe make up your personal brand?

“Be bold and original. Tell 'em something that they don't know.” - Melinda Emmerson

2. Know Your Strengths...and Not So Strengths

Your brand is your voice and it is audible even when you are not there. Your brand speaks before you walk into a room. Your brand is a click away. What does Google say about you? Do you tout master editing techniques but showcase videos that have clear inconsistencies and editing errors? Does your work history state you have a Lean Six Sigma certification but you can not answer simple interview questions?

Man at Meeting

3. How Does Your Personal Brand Set You Apart?

Be honest about who you are, your talents, your abilities, and what solutions you provide that no other person can. Ask yourself, how does your solution process differ from another? According to the Georgia USA website:

  • - Nearly 30% of Georgians have at least a bachelor's degree

  • - 1 in 10 Georgians have a master's degree or higher

So what makes you different? Think about it like this - Burger King and McDonalds are typically within 1/2 mile of each other. What makes you choose one chain over the other? It has taken both popular fast food burger joints decades of menu shifting, customer service, and advertising to come out on top. Take the time to research what set you a part from the competition.

4. Stay True to Yourself

Ensure your brand statement is clear, concise, and true to you. If not, others will see right through it. Many people ask why do I dress up for work everyday - I very rarely wear jeans - and it's because I never know who I am going to run into and I never know when I may be needed to speak on camera. I like to be prepared for anything. I even have a steamer in my office. I know, crazy right? But people know me for being prepared for any situation. And I stay true to it. No catfishing allowed.

Making a name for yourself can be a bit baffling, and frustrating, yet exhilarating. It takes time. Think about it while on a long drive, take video notes so you won't forget. Or you can use that cross country plane ride to create a first draft of your branding statement. Think through it while showering after a long hard day...just let your thoughts flow. You know you. And you know who you are and what you have to offer. Now you have to work on creating it so other's will believe it. #personalbrand #branding #brandguru #youcandoit!

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