3 Ways to Add Life Back into Your Personal Brand
As professionals in the marketing world, we all are aware of what it means to have a solid brand. But do we take the time to think about our own brand? Seriously, when is the last time you Googled yourself? What do people see when they look you up before a meeting?
According to Wikipedia, personal branding is “the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility, and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence, and have a larger impact.” It’s how you differentiate yourself from the masses!
Typically, personal brand isn’t just your skills, certifications, or abilities. It goes beyond that to the core of what makes you, you! Think back to your favorite coworker or boss. Why were they your favorite? What attributes did they possess that make them stand out in your mind?
Most peoples’ reason doesn’t include things like a fancy degree from an ivy league college or how awesome they are at Photoshop. When asked this question, people usually say things like, “they were so funny and always put a smile on my face”, or “they motivated me to become better”, or even, “they were fair.”
At the end of the day it’s a person’s personality that is their biggest personal brand differentiator. There will always be another person with your same skillset out there, but there isn’t another person out there with the same skillset and personality! That combination is uniquely yours.
We here at Foundry Commerce have been putting more thought into our personal brand. Our head of Operations, Denise Sackett, isn’t just a businesswoman with a degree in communications from Kings College. She’s a mom to three kids, a basketball coach, a former college basketball star, a sister, a daughter, and a friend. She loves margaritas, her Westie Rover, the beach, and cheering on the Eagles. People love being around her because she’s funny, smart, hardworking, caring, and loyal. That’s her personal brand!
So why don’t we talk about those more personal parts of us on resumés, LinkedIn, or during interviews? Here are three tips to spice up your LinkedIn profile with a dash of authentic personal brand.
Write an Inspiring Summary – So often we see people’s summaries include information about their career progression and skills that are also located elsewhere on your profile. Use this space to tell your story. Why do you do what you do? What got you into your profession in the first place? Tell us something personal about you!
Change Up Your Headline – Instead of putting your current job title here, make it your personal tagline. Instead of saying “Senior Distributor of Print & Promotional Products” you can say something more inspiring like “Helping Companies Enhance Their Brands & Tell Their Stories” or “Innovating the Print & Promo World”. It’s often one of the first things people see, so make it attention grabbing.
Upgrade Your Headshot – For the love of God, please do not use a cropped photo of yourself at your cousin’s wedding, four cocktails in with red eye. I know we are encouraging “authentic” but it’s still a professional website, so invest in a professional headshot. When taking a photo, try laughing instead of smiling before the snap. It makes for a better photo!