Radha is an introvert and experienced a very high-growth career until she was a Sr. Manager in the organization. Her passion for her work is evident from her dedication and commitment. Almost everyone knows, Radha almost never misses a deadline and manages the team which gives high-quality results. Everyone knows, whenever Radha is called in for handling a crisis, she magically turns things around.
The appraisal time is here, and Radha is expecting her next growth to become the part of the leadership team. To her surprise (and dismay) she does not get her promotion. When she asked her manager, he claims, he is not sure if she is ready for the next level. When Radha insists on knowing more, he hesitates and tells her, not many in the management are aware of her capabilities. She takes time off to reflect on what’s missing.
Reputation or Personal Brand
Radha may have built a great reputation by way of being a star performer, but has she invested time in building her brand? Well, often professionals assume a good “reputation” to be the same as a good “personal brand”. A good reputation may be automatically built by meeting or even exceeding expectations in your KRA’s. A good personal brand has to be deliberately built over and above your work performance.
Building a Personal Brand
Building a personal brand in effect is about working towards what impression people develop about you of who you truly are and what you would like to be known as. Personal Branding is intentional. It is how you want others to perceive you. When you align your intentions with actions and make yourself visible, you build a strong brand.
The 4 parts to Personal Branding
- Who am I: What are your values, your strengths, and what would you like to be known for? Reflecting on who you truly are and what impression you would like to leave on others.
- What I really do: What are your achievements? How are you talking about my achievements? What is your contribution to the organization (society) in terms of your work and your uniqueness? How do you speak about your work? What impression do people carry with them after they meet you?
- How do I manage the perceptions about me: How do you manage conflict? How do you influence others? How do you present your ideas to your team and to your management? How do you manage upwards & downwards in the hierarchy? Do you deal with disagreements or do you avoid them? Are you able to disagree respectfully?
- How do I build and maintain relationships: Relationships are crucial for your brand. What are people talking about you when you are not around? Who all are talking about you? Are you able to reach out to people when you are in need? Volunteering is a great way to build a brand.
If you want to know more about how we can help your employees build a good personal brand, write to us at email@example.com.
Seven tips to Personal Branding
- Decide your niche: Be focused and talk about your niche wherever you can. If you are an engineer, talk about the specific skills you carry and not about being a mechanical engineer. The niche could be your aspirational self, what you want to become. If you are planning to change career, talk about the new career and how your current career option will support you in the new one
- Be Authentic: Faking will not take you anywhere. Being true to yourself and to others, helps you build an unshakable brand. When talking about self, remember to talk about your skills and what makes you unique. LinkedIn and other social media are full of copy-paste messages without due credits, such posts can harm your brand in ways which will be difficult to repair.
- Share your story: Stories are easy to remember and relate to emotions. Recently, Uber India, won hearts when the CEO was seen driving as an Uber driver. The story reinforces their tagline “We reimagine the way the world moves for the better” strengthening their brand. Stories are personalised, spoken from the heart and ooze authenticity. Continuing with the engineering example, talk about an instance when you were able to solve a problem.
- Be willing to experiment: When you experiment, there are successes and there are stepping stones to success (commonly called failures). Be willing to learn and grow.
- Be consistent: Say what you do and do what you say. Instagram is a place to do touchups to your photographs. Life is without touch-ups, you are who you are. If you stay on the path of truth, you don’t have to remember which truth was spoken when. The only touch-up that you need to do is how you communicate. Staying positive in your communication, looking at the brighter side and talking about your learnings can never go out of fashion. e.g. if talk about what you learnt from the failure you may have experienced and how it made you wiser.
- Offer value: Talk in terms of what value you offer rather than what you can do. Steve Jobs, when launching iPod, offered 1000 songs on the hard drive and not 5 GB capacity of the hard drive. Speak in terms of what the other person will understand and not flaunt your technical knowledge or jargon.
- Make yourself visible: Doing all the above and keeping all celebrations to yourself and your close group of friends and family, will not help build a personal brand. In the era of social media, talk about what you offer, your achievements and your learnings.
Personal Branding for Women – How important is it?
Women tend to base their aspirations on their reputation rather than on building a brand. They also face the likeability and competence conundrum where they have to choose between looking competent or being liked. Being intentional about building a brand can help women navigate the likeability Vs competence conundrum. A systematic plan to leading to strategically build a strong professional network, making themselves visible in professional forums (both online and off-line) and speaking about their ideas can help create a strong brand.
Lack of personal brand will often leave women wondering despite a good career track record, and a great reputation, why is it they are not experiencing the growth they deserve.
What is in it for the organisation
Organisations that invest in women (and all other employees) to develop a personal brand will be able to attract talent with greater ease than those who believe in the personal brand as being an individual’s responsibility. They have higher levels of employee engagement hence greater retention.
Connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know how we can help you in helping women (and other employees) to build a personal brand.