A Complete Personal Branding Manual Part 2
In part 1 of ‘Personal Branding: A complete Manual’, we have established that we are all brands and that the secret lies in differentiation and uniqueness. What we stand for, who we say we are and how we say it, is essentially what distinguishes us from everyone else. We may have similar qualities and share the same culture and philosophies, however, in principle, we express our personal brand differently or at least we should if we are to be true to ourselves. Following other’s brand essence is simply unoriginal and a cop-out.
So what would make your brand stand-out? What makes you different from anyone else? And why is it crucial to build your personal brand? This guide will help you build an authentic and marketable personal brand. Listed are the tips to help you be unique in the face of competition.
Look at your strengths
This is an important factor in personal branding. It is not an idea only centred on your own perceptions, but also of those who know you well. Those with a solid personal brand, know who they are and what they want in life. In fact, they are crystal clear on that. This is where you get to understand and describe your unique selling points.
In order to help you with this important task, I have compiled several questions for you to help keep you focused on identifying your true strengths:
- What was/were the highlight/s of my career, and why am I so proud of these moments?
- What was the most fulfilling task or project I have ever worked on, and why was it fulfilling?
- What role do I always play in group tasks, and how do others in the group view me?
- How do I overcome the most challenging obstacles? What tools do I use?
- What do I enjoy doing the most (business or leisure)
- If I were to talk to someone about the subject that I enjoy the most, what would it be?
- If I were to accomplish something of great significance to me, and there would be no obstacles of any kind to stand in your way, what would it be?
- Now, try to think of 10 one-word descriptions of your strengths e.g. creative, compassionate
- Choose people who know you, your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to each give you their perception of what your strengths are. After doing that compare your lists with theirs. Share your list with them and see if they perceive you the same way as you view yourself.
Emphasize your strengths on your CV, in your cover letters and in your interviews. It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people simply list everything they’ve ever done. Convey your passion and link your strengths to measure results. Employers and interviewers love concrete data” – Marcus Buckingham
Now that you know what your strengths are, use them. Utilise them as part of your strategic plan in your daily activities as well as with prospective employers. Let the right target audience know these gifts. Communicate them effectively using every relevant resource available to you. You can use your CV to highlight your strengths, online profiles and you must unquestionably have a personal website as your digital CV. Just remember your values and ethics when communicating to your audience. This will set you apart.
Know your limitations
We all have weaknesses, but it is not always easy to acknowledge them. It is in your best interest to be completely honest with your self about what your limitations are or you will put yourself on the spot for major disappointments. Remember that a weakness is anything from being utterly uninterested about anything in life to having limited skills to do anything of interest.
“My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into strength” – Michael Jordan
Let’s help you identify those weaknesses:
- Which aspects of my career/ education that I like the least, and why?
- Am I someone who believes completely that I deserve more and better?
- Do I become debilitated by the thought of having to perform certain tasks? What sort of tasks?
- What were the low points in my career, and why ?
- In a group situation, which role/s do I like the least?
- What was the least fruitful task/project I have ever worked on, and why did it fail?
- In the face of obstacles, what makes me give up?
- What is the most uninspiring subject to talk about for me?
- What do I think are my 10 weaknesses? Be honest with yourself.
- As on question 9 in strengths, only substitute weakness for strength.
Do not waste your time with weaknesses that do not hinder your professional goals. Establish what limitations you can turn into strengths in order to jump-start your career. Learn the skills that will help you progress. Put yourself in uncomfortable networking situations if you need people skills for example. Remember to mainly focus on weaknesses that hold you back from achieving your potential.
To be continued – Personal Branding: A Complete Manual Part 3 of 3
Thanks for reading!
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