Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.
Kevin Costner – it’s a lie. If only it was as easy as just building it. Building great things is nice; building great things and getting people to believe in them – that’s the sweet spot. Good things don’t happen just because you are smart, capable and interesting. They happen because you make them happen.
Take your personal brand for example. Are you growing your brand through connections and your online presence? Are you defining who you are and what you stand for? Or, are you allowing others to do it for you? Doing a good job is not enough to be recognized and rewarded. You need to confidently speak about accomplishments and promote yourself. You are your own biggest advocate.
Speak with different people to understand how they perceive your strengths and weaknesses. Your brand is essentially what people say after you walk out the door.
Let’s think more deeply about this.
- Identify three words or phrases you WANT people to use to describe your brand.
- Then, think about how people perceive you today.
- Identify what's holding you back from being described the way you WANT. What are your gaps?
- For each of your three phrases, determine one or two actions you will take to help others begin to see you that way. Voilà – goals for the new year!
Two years ago, I decided I wanted others to see me as a “global leader” in communication skills. To make this happen, I had to build my personal brand. So I highlighted my global experience on LinkedIn and asked our participants and clients from around the world to write short recommendations on my page. I started writing the newsletter for Exec|Comm and sent copies to editors of global learning and development publications. And they got published. And it wasn’t that hard. But I had to introduce myself and get my name out there. No one was coming to me – I had to build things and gasp, self-promote a bit. Thus, the foundation to be described as a global leader was set.
Here are some quick tips on things you can do to build your personal brand:
1. Network – Someone once told me, “Be brave. Even if you’re not. No one can tell the difference.” Put out your hand and say hello. Grow your network. Read more.
2. Live Authentically – Be real. Don’t pretend to be perfect. Learn from your mistakes. Those with the strongest brands are willing to talk about mistakes, address times they have failed and say they are sorry when they are wrong. Read more.
3. Dress the Part – Be deliberate with your dress and image. It matters. Read more.
4. Up Your Social Media Game – Update your profile on LinkedIn. Take down anything questionable you may have posted online during your adventurous stage. Ask for recommendations from those who have had the pleasure of working well with you. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Learn more.
I heard a story the other day about Ricky Henderson, the famous baseball player. After getting signed by the Oakland A’s, Henderson received his first million-dollar check. He put it in a frame and hung it on his wall, rather than cash it. It was always his dream to be a millionaire and to him, he achieved that status when he received the check. The A’s told him to cash it and put a photocopy in the frame.
It’s up to you whether your check hangs on the wall or whether you take it to the bank.
Make your hard work count. Cash your checks! Happy holidays to you and yours.
All the best,
Rachel Lamb ‐ Exec|Comm consultant
What's your message to the world?