Do you know your brand?
Could you tell me in 25 words or less what it is? And if you can, do you know whether your version of your brand matches how other people see it?
I speak and work with a lot of women who haven’t given their brand much thought, and would rather not anyway, because it seems to fit the uncomfortable “promote yourself” category.
The reality is that you are a brand, so you’d best consciously define it for yourself. Here’s how:
1. Write it down
How do you want to be known? What do you want people to be saying about you? What are you best known for? How do you want to make people feel? People always remember how you made them feel, long after what you’ve said.
Create a vision statement in 25 words or less.
2. Act on your vision
What are the behaviours that match what you wrote in your vision statement?
If you want to be seen as a confident woman, what would you need to do? How would you need to behave?
For example, would you speak with strength and clarity? Would you look people in the eye? Would you ask for what you want, with courage, confidence and care?
Vision statements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on unless you act on them.
3. Let others know
Your brand is worthless unless other people know about it. You might be kicking major goals. And if no-one else knows about them, what’s the point?
So many women are modest. There’s nothing wrong with letting other people know what you’re capable of. In fact, it’s essential to your career success.
Market your accomplishments.
If that’s uncomfortable for you, come over here.
4. Ask for feedback
Check on how your brand is travelling, and where it needs tweaking, by asking people for feedback.
This takes courage. And it can be enormously useful.
It’s not enough though to simply ask, How do you think I’m going?
Be specific. Ask:
- What do you think I’m doing really well?
- What could I do more of to be more effective?
- What could I do less of to be more effective?
Be gracious in how you receive the feedback.
And if you hear the same thing three times, take notice. There’s a message that needs to be heeded and work that needs to be done.
5. Don’t make this all about work
Your brand is an expression of who you really are. This is not about faking it until you make it, or putting on a mask that you wear just at work. Your brand is the genuine You – your strengths, gifts and talents. And it’s evident across all areas of your life.
Who do you want to be as a person, at your best? How do you want to be known? As someone who’s generous, for example? Or compassionate?
The entire, authentic You is needed at work. Remember, there isn’t just one way for work, and another for the rest of your life.
Photo credit: Marco Bellucci