Brand YourselfA strong personal brand is invaluable, especially as labor markets become more competitive and workplace changes are fast and dynamic. I am a staunch proponent of having and owning a personal brand. Owning your personal brand proactively puts you in control of your story. It is a representation of what you stand for, a presentation of who you are professionally and personally, and it is your communication message to tell and share.

The experience people have with your brand is priceless and is not to be taken for granted. Do not fake your brand. When you do, people will feel it. As Maya Angelou stated, people do not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel. That feeling shows up in your actions, communication, and behaviors. If your behaviors are consistent or inconsistent, you are informing others of what to expect. That is your brand promise and it sets the expectations of the experience others will have with you. Building or optimizing your personal brand is not only about showcasing yourself, but also allowing others to see you as the only solution to their problems, the go to person to have on their team, and as an expert.

It is important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand.

Your personal brand represents your values, skills, and energy. Values are your essence and foundation of your beliefs. How you authentically operationalize your values through your brand is key, because you want to be true to yourself. Collectively, your personal brand represents skill sets, experience, and knowledge that you bring to the table. This is developed and cultivated overtime as you constantly nurture and grow your personal brand. A compelling brand helps to connect all the pieces and tell a strong story about you.

Nurture your personal brand. Your brand represents a promise, your integrity, and perceptions of how others see and experience you. Do not treat your brand as a one-night show, meaning it is reviewed and tweaked once, then placed on a shelf to gather dust. It takes lots of care, self-reflection, and awareness. Change is constant. Remaining stagnant will make your brand irrelevant very quickly. The ROI on your personal brand, will depend upon the amount of work, time, and energy you put in and your willingness to keep it relevant overtime. Just like change, it must evolve. Dedicate time to grow and prioritize your personal brand. When it is prioritized, your personal brand will show up powerfully.