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How to Improve Your Personal Brand

Aha moment: You need to be known for the value you create and the work you do. No one will tell that story better than you. (Click to Tweet)

If you’re like most professionals, you know what you do, but you don’t know how to talk about what you do.

And that’s a problem.

Because you need to be known for something, and you should craft that perception for others  –  instead of other people creating it for you.

Are you relying on your work to “do the talking”? That’s a risky proposition.

While taking that route is easy, especially if you don’t want to toot your own horn, realize that if your work doesn’t have a voice, neither do you.

You need to be known for the value you create and the work you do. No one will tell that story better than you.

If you need to improve your personal brand, here’s how to get started.

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“Advise” your value

One of the most powerful ways to share your attributes is to use the word “advice”  –  or asking a question to promote your value.

For example, let’s say you want to let people know that your relationship with a customer brought in a sale. You don’t want to brag because you work in a team. So, you ask your superior for advice.

Say, “We were able to bring in this sales opportunity that helped our company grow. What’s your advice to take that scenario and help our company grow or train other professionals?”

The word “advice” is a value bridge to communicate your value in a non-boastful way.

Create a sound bite

This is kind of like your elevator pitch. It’s that “sound bite” you use to let people know who you are, what you do and how you add value.

To create that sound bite, however, you need to know the words or set of words that you want to be known for. Essentially, you’re giving yourself a hashtag!

In my case, I’ve created a set of words that I want to be known for. My strongest one is “energy.” To every presentation, speech or room, I bring energy. I tell people that I’m an “energetic speaker.”

So, before other people will use words about you, you have to build this concept. You need to give them the words to take and then use about you.

If you want to be known as insightful and creative, for example, you’d say: I want you to understand my creative insight, so here’s the idea I’d like to propose…

It’s very subtle.

But that’s what brands do in their ads:

Coke reports: Tastes great, less filling.

Enterprise says: We’ll pick you up.

Essentially, they’re telling you what to think about their brand.

You need to do the same.

Get brand ambassadors on board

Want to sing a specific song to professionals in your company and industry? You’ve got to play the right notes, and then get band members to play your notes.

These “brand ambassadors”  will share your story, your song.

If you’ve done something well for someone, a client perhaps, ask them if they don’t mind sharing that milestone. Maybe you can help someone else on their team in the same way. Request that the brand ambassador share an article on social media, or to communicate your attributes (your sound bite) to others, because it will help other people (not just promote your own brand).

Positioning the request in such a way will prompt brand ambassadors to spread the word about you.

Final thoughts

The key to improve your personal brand involves asking for advice in order to share your successes or contributions, creating your sound bite or hashtag and then getting brand ambassadors to share your story/brand.