Tom Peters, who coined the phrase in 1997 in his Fast Company article “The Brand Called You” (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/10/brandyou.html), had this to say:
"You're every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop. To start thinking like your own favorite brand manager, ask yourself the same question the brand managers at Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop ask themselves: What is it that my product or service does that makes it different?
We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. Create a message and a strategy to promote the brand called You."
Another personal branding pioneer William Arruda, founder of Reach Personal Branding, says “Your brand resides in the hearts and minds of those around you.”
So, you already have a brand. Your brand is your personal DNA -- the combination of personal attributes, values, strengths, and passions that people know you for and that represent the value you offer.
It’s up to you to identify those qualities and characteristics within you, bring all the pieces together, and communicate a crystal clear, consistent message across multiple channels – online and offline – that differentiates your unique promise of value and resonates with your target audience.
using the following tools “to highlight your brand and allow people to easily view what you’re about”:
The importance of this element in online self-marketing is twofold. In addition to accounting for the value you add to an organization, you must decide what you, the hard-working professional, are worth and what your bottom line is -- particularly if you ever decide to freelance or become an independent contractor.
Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we've selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
To construct your brand, imagine that you are going to construct a building. The first thing you do is dig a big hole. At the bottom of the hole are your talents. You can discover them but you cannot change them. You might have a facility with words or numbers or for connecting people or public speaking. You are likely to have developed one or more of your talents into specific skills. For example, a talent for numbers can be developed into the skills of an accountant, a maths teacher, a code-breaker or an actuary.
The next stage is to identify your values – what you believe is important. In terms of our building metaphor, these are the foundations. They are below the surface, but they determine the shape of the building. When you understand your values you can identify the right organisations to work for, where people see the world in a similar way to you.
Every brand is based on a few good qualities. It makes it easier to connect and remember the product it’s attached to.
It’s easier for people remember one thing than several things. It’s easier for people to focus on doing one thing than doing a lot of things.
As a general rule, I think folks talk up the importance of things like personal elevator statements and personal mission statements too much.
Like it or not, what is online about you influences how others perceive you. If you want your personal brand to be effective, your online accounts at Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and your other online profiles need to reflect the ideas in your elevator statement from Step 3.
The last and most important step is to live your personal brand.
Eight Essential Steps
1. Identify the primary "product" (service, resource, special ability, etc.) you have to offer others.
2. Identify your core values. What really matters to you?
3. Identify your passions. What things or ideas do you love?
4. Identify your talents. What have you always been recognized for (particularly as a kid)? What do you do better than most other people? What skills do people seem to notice in you?
5. From your hopefully long list of talents and qualities, choose the top five, the ones you do best and enjoy doing the most.
6. Weave the items on all your lists into a statement of your specialty. What are you particularly gifted at delivering?
7. Write a paragraph emphasizing your specialty and your five key talents, weaving in your most important values, passions and skills.
8. Now add a tag line to your brand.
Get the Word Out
Once you've worked over your tag line and the other items on the list for a few days or weeks, it's time to take them public with someone you trust. Keeping them secret is a sure way to never act on them.
The road to career disappointment is littered with lists, dreams and goals never shared with anyone. So get your "brand me" musings out into the light of day to solicit support and constructive criticism from someone else. And you could be a brand adviser for that person in return. And it would be even better is you could get four or five women together regularly to encourage and critique each other's branding strategies and activities.