I recently spoke to a large group of successful entrepreneurs, but was really surprised to find out that they didn’t know the difference between personal branding and professional image. It was unexpected because in this day and age if you do not have a unique personal brand you are really limiting your value in the marketplace.
Looking the part is about image management. But your personal brand is designed around how you would like for others to think of you whenever you come to mind. It your own individual mission statement. It is what you represent as a person.
What are your personal values and ethics? Do you have specific talents or skill sets that distinguish you? How do you want to be differentiated from others in your profession or industry? How do your personal beliefs synch with your professional goals?
Answer those questions in a thoughtful and honest way and you’ll be drilling down to the core of your personal brand. Why is it so important? People used to rely on their company brand to serve this kind of purpose, but that was back when the typical employee built a lifelong career with just one organization.
These days most of us are “free agents” who gravitate toward the opportunities that present themselves to us. Companies and ideal clients are always scouting new prospects in this open arena, and it is your individual, personal brand that defines you in their eyes.
So to catch their attention and hold it in a memorable and valuable way make sure that your personal brand resonates in a powerful way, as a vital 24/7 promotion of you and what you have to offer.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion™ System.
1-800-267-3245 | www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2013, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS