Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!DR SEUSS
Do the terms “personal branding” and “elevator pitch” make you groan and roll your eyes? Does being told to network make you want to hide in a corner? Do you break out in a cold sweat at the thought of selling… well, anything really… but particularly yourself?
Oh, I hear you! I spent most of my corporate career feeling like that. But as I stepped into building my own business, I faced the harsh truth that unless I’m comfortable being my own number one fan, my future success is doomed.
You’re a ‘brand’… whether you like it or not
When someone’s meeting you for the first time, what do they do? Google you, of course. Then what? Check your social media, perhaps your website (if you have one), read any articles or information they can find. If you’ve got contacts in common, they’ll ask for personal reviews.
By the time you meet, they’ve already got an idea of who they think you are. And if they haven’t, their opinion will be guided by their interaction with you. They’ll form impressions about what you say, how you behave and present yourself.
Are you creating an impression that reflects exactly who you are?
Why it’s important to own your personal brand
Your brand is who you are, a compilation of your unique and specific skills, values, experience, and idiosyncrasies. It’s what you stand for and what you’re against. It’s what draws people to you and holds back those who don’t get you. (And yes, another sometimes tough fact… your brand won’t appeal to everyone. That’s ok… because it’s highly likely ALL brands don’t appeal to you.
It’s easy to think having a personal brand only applies if you’re a business owner or someone with a public profile. However, according to Seek, developing and articulating your personal brand creates a distinct advantage when you’re job-seeking or looking to progress or upgrade your career.
Step into the spotlight and showcase who you are
The thing is… if you don’t manage the story of who you are, what you want and how you add value, then others will make up their own version, which might be very different from your view. Believe it or not, it IS possible to reframe how you think about self-promotion and start proactively talking about yourself in a way that doesn’t feel icky or salesy.
1. There’s no one else who is “you-er than you”.
Yes, others may have similar skills, they may be able to do the same job… but no one else is EXACTLY like you… with your unique personality, strengths, and beliefs. Getting crystal clear about who you are, how you solve problems and add value to your business, team or customers is THE most important first step for driving success in your work-life. The clearer you are, the easier it becomes for others, to find, understand and engage with you.
2. BE your biggest fan.
Often, we sit back and wait for others to validate our work and our value. The truth is no one is spending the time assessing you or your work to the same extent you do. Believing your work is valuable starts with you. When you believe in the value you create it immediately becomes easier to talk about, discuss and feel excited about.
3. Share like you want to go viral.
When you’ve experienced something amazing – a good restaurant, book, Netflix show, travel destination etc – you can’t wait to tell others about it. You feel like you’re doing others a disservice if you don’t let them know about it. So, if you have strengths, skills or experience that others will value or that helps solve a problem, why would you keep it to yourself? How will others know about your unique value if you don’t tell them?
4. BE InvestED in your STORY, not in the outcome.
The ick factor associated with talking about yourself is often related to the fear of putting yourself out there and being turned down, ignored or cringe… receiving criticism or a bad review. The thing is, you’re not going to be for everyone… and that’s ok. Take the pressure off and stop focussing on the outcome. You can’t control how your message will land. Get comfortable with knowing, in this moment, for reasons entirely unrelated to you, your value might not be understood or needed… that doesn’t make it any less valuable.
Ok then, are you ready? It’s time to stop letting others decide (or not) who they think you are and take control of your unique value story.
If you’re struggling to get clear about your unique value and need support to achieve your dream career, read more about how I can help or get in contact. I’d love to help you stop waiting and start creating the career you’re meant to have.