The Ultimate Guide to Personal Branding Success

Why You Need to Develop Your Own Personal Brand

Develop Personal Brand

There’s a correlation between how you manage your personal brand identity and the amount of success you have in your career.

Did you know that the way you view yourself has an impact on how others view you?

When your personal brand is a reflection of who you truly are, you’ll be sending the right message to your coworkers and supervisors.

It’s a message that says you’re ready to set goals and that you have what it takes to reach them.


Table of Contents
How your connections impact your personal brand
What role do expectations play in personal branding?
Consistency in personal branding is essential
How can failure positively affect your personal brand?
Using office politics to your advantage while building your personal brand
How can you build your personal brand when you’re working remotely?
How does an introvert build a personal brand?
Putting it all into practice
Brand yourself for career success


Making Connections

How your connections impact your personal brand

You’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Have you ever asked yourself, What kind of impression am I leaving people with?

It’s important to consider, because you never know how the connections you make today will impact you  –  and your personal brand  –  in the future.

Be intentional

Whether you’re in a social situation or a professional one, there are some questions you can ask yourself to ensure that your interactions with others are leaving the right impression  –  or the picture you desire them to have of you.

  • Who knows you and what do they know about you?
  • Are there people you don’t know who would be beneficial for you to know?
  • Who are the people who you don’t know well but may be helpful to your career in the future?
  • How is your relationship with the most senior people in your organization? Are they the ones who can influence your career in a positive way?

Take some time to consider these questions and keep them in mind with each interaction you have  –  because you want each one to be furthering the personal brand you’re creating.

How to make connections

You can do a little maneuvering in order to increase the chances of making contact with people who may benefit your career – now and in the future. Here’s how:

Stay in the loop

Know what’s going on in your industry in general, as well as in your own organization. Find out what the CEOs are worried about and what challenges they’re trying to manage.

Create opportunities

Take advantage of the chance to attend an event at which a leader in your organization is speaking. Afterward, follow-up with them. When you go to events and show your support and investment in the company, you’re creating opportunities for yourself.

Be seen

Your face should be familiar to the higher-ups in your company. Know who the people are who meet with your boss and your boss’ boss. Create opportunities for them to become familiar with your work.

Make sure your profile’s working for you

If your company has an online internal profile, make sure yours is complete and highlights your skills and the ways you’re an asset to your organization.

Because your personal brand is so impacted by the connections you make along your career path, be intentional about making each one count.


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What role do expectations play in personal branding?

Role Expectations Play in Personal Branding

Having an understanding of your personal brand brings an awareness of what others are expecting of you.

You can absolutely leverage this to your advantage.

Here are some do’s and don’ts to make sure your and other’s expectations are in line with the personal brand that you’re building for yourself.

Don’t be under-expected

Sometimes you know that you have the skills for a particular task, but no one else does.

In that case, you’re being undervalued, underestimated and underrated.

Obviously, that’s the opposite of what you want your personal brand to say!

Being under-expected sends the message that your personal brand isn’t being given the value you know it deserves.

Become indispensable

If you have skills in multiple areas, make sure that you’re using them each time an opportunity comes up.

Showcasing your various strengths will help you get ahead in your work.

Here are three tricks you can use.

1. Be vocal.

Make sure you let it be known that you can step in and help when your unique skills are needed.

Your supervisors may not know what you can do unless you tell them!

2. Use social media.

It’s a good idea to comment on various LinkedIn groups, for example, to show your diverse skill set.

Get involved with forums for some of your interests and abilities.

Seek out ways to be seen in a different light, wearing multiple hats.

3. Create your own opportunities.

When you align yourself with projects or departments that are connected to your other skills, you’re making opportunities for your superiors to see you shine in a different light.

Challenge the under-expected vision of yourself and let your coworkers and managers see that your skill set is beyond the scope of what they assumed.

Consistency in personal branding is essential

Personal Branding Consistency

Your brand doesn’t mean anything if your message isn’t consistent.

In order to remain consistent, you have to have a well-thought-out personal branding plan.

The most important question

Before you can develop a plan to stay constant, you need to have an answer to this question:

What do you consistently deliver that makes others stay loyal to you?

Being able to identify this characteristic of yours will set you apart from the crowd, help others to see you the way you want them to and keep your career moving in the right direction.

What can you do to stay consistent?

There are a couple keys to remaining consistent with your personal brand that you should think about.

Being aware

Pay attention to your behaviors and attitudes.

Determine to have a positive mindset and be an encourager to each person you meet.

Look for the positives in every situation and try to look for solutions instead of being negative.

Maintain a good attitude!

Make necessary changes

As you examine your attitudes, be intentional about making the changes that you need to make to improve the perception others have of you.

The way that you approach each day will shape your personal brand.

A word about your online presence

Are your social media accounts telling a different story than the one you’re trying to present to the world?

Imagine that your boss is reading every single thing you post on Facebook and Instagram.

Does what you’re putting out there represent the personal brand that you’re working to create?

If it doesn’t, you may want to put some serious thought into “cleaning” things up so that everything that comes from you is a true representation of who you are and who you’re striving to be.

How can failure positively affect your personal brand?

Failure Positively Affects Personal Brand

Everybody makes mistakes.

It happens to the best of us.

What makes the difference is how you respond.

A failure can derail your career – if you let it!

You can take steps to make sure that you’re in control of defining mistakes in a way that actually moves your career — and your personal brand — forward.

Here’s what you can do.

1. Make it a teaching moment

How you respond to failure will put you a lot further along in life and your career than if you hadn’t gone through a difficult situation.

Learn from it and move on with a positive attitude.

2. Gratefulness goes a long way

It flies in the face of your feelings, but being grateful for the failures can actually move you toward the next phase, which is figuring out what to do next!

Be thankful for each situation and how it makes you stronger while also making your personal brand that much more powerful.

3. Take the time to analyze

Here are some questions you can use to help you work through failure and come out better on the other side.

  • What did I learn?
  • What can I do about it?
  • How can it make me better?

Don’t just answer your questions – live the answers!

In this way, your mistakes become a part of your story, enriching it and making you more experienced.

4. Use it to teach others

Once you’ve learned from your mistakes, it’s time to share your wisdom with others.

You’ll be empowering other people to benefit from the success you were able to glean from your mistakes.

5. Talking about failure

It can be challenging to figure out how to talk to people about your experiences with failure.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to handle things.

For example, if you lose your job, it’s not the best idea to go around announcing it.

Always brand yourself based on what you learned from the failure – not the failure itself.

Using office politics to your advantage while building your personal brand

Office Politics Advantage Building Personal Brand

Every employee has to find a way to deal with office politics.

While your first inclination may be to run in the opposite direction, hold on!

You can actually use office politics to better your personal brand.

Sound iffy? It’s true.

Here’s what you can do.

1. Be an observer

This is how you can identify the people who have influence in the office, the ones who don’t use the power they have and those who get respect from the most people.

Part of observing is listening.

You can not only learn a lot, but you’ll be able to identify opportunities in which you can make yourself look good!

2. Pay attention to social interactions

Are there cliques? Who’s in them and who avoids them? Is there a person or group of people who seem to be the ringleaders in causing conflict?

You may be surprised by the amount of insight you can gain by just being aware of coworkers’ interpersonal relationships.

3. Build relationships

Work your network so that you’re building relationships with the right people: individuals with power, influence and position  –  or those that can “save you” when cuts are made.

If you can’t identify people like this in your network, get to work making connections.

On the other hand, if you should also identify people in your network that could hurt you  –  those that have had a negative interaction with you or with whom you need to rebuild your relationships and personal brand.

Work these relationships regularly and grow your network of political capital within your company.

How can you build your personal brand when you’re working remotely?

Build Personal Brand Working Remotely

Technology has made it possible for more people to work from home or remote office locations.

The problem is the amount of disconnect you’ll probably experience with your coworkers and superiors.

Your performance will be based on factors like:

  • Your responses in meetings.
  • Interactions over the phone.
  • How quickly you respond to emails.
  • What others are saying about you.

This is why you should work even harder to develop your personal brand if you’re working remotely.

It’s important that you have a way to emphasize your strengths and your value.

Check out these tips for keeping yourself involved when you’re working from home.

Be sure to connect

Building relationships is important no matter what your work situation looks like.

Here are five methods to make sure you’re effectively connecting.

1. Get together outside of work.

Schedule lunch meetings on days when you’ll be at the office. It’s also a great idea to make connections on social media.

You’ll get a sense for what your coworkers are all about.

What do they do outside of work? What are they passionate about?

2. Be intentional about making connections with those who can further your career.

It’s a good thing when positive word-of-mouth gets passed along to your boss.

You never know when a relationship could be used to accelerate your career.

3. Follow-up after a conference call.

It always pays to be thankful for the good information you received or for support.

4. Extend an open-ended offer to help at the end of your emails.

Be a resource for your co-workers. Let them know that you’re happy to help them in any way you can.

5. Pay attention to the “little” things.

Everyone appreciates having their birthdays, anniversaries and other special dates recognized. It makes more of an impression when you work remotely and still make an effort to acknowledge these occasions.

Make each interaction with the boss count

When you aren’t in the office every day, the communications you have with the boss can be few and far between at times.

Even then it’s probably limited to emails or a conference call here and there.

That’s why you need to make each communication impactful.

The key is to be intentional about providing valuable information each time you interact.

Check out these ideas for what this could look like:

  • Share some research that’s relevant to an issue the company is currently dealing with. You just may give them the info they need to come up with a solution.
  • You can fill your boss in on what’s trending in your field by sharing an investor relations report.
  • Pass along an article on leadership or team-building that provides valuable insight.
  • Suggest an app that you’ve found helpful.

The important thing to remember is to always come away from a connection with your boss having left him with something of value.

Be engaged during conference calls

The truth is that it’s easy to mentally drift when you’re on a conference call.

You’re surrounded by other things that are fighting for your attention and you can start to check-out.

What you may not realize is that your tone of voice tells a story.

Make sure that you’re adding value to the conversation and that you’re speaking enthusiastically.

Remember – this is the only impression that some of your coworkers and superiors will have of you.

Being obviously distracted or trying to multitask during a call will come through in your tone and can do serious damage to your brand.

Be remembered for your positive contributions to each and every meeting.

Building your brand while working remotely may be more challenging, but it’s definitely doable when you’re taking the right steps.

Don’t forget about email

You use email a ton when you work outside the office.

Doesn’t it make sense that it’s a powerful way to build your personal brand?

Your email signature and your out-of-office message should both be memorable!

Take every opportunity to show that you’re resourceful and involved – even when you aren’t there physically.

Show up

You need to have face-to-face contact with your coworkers sometimes. It’s the best way for them to really get to know you and vice versa.

Be proactive about attending as many events as you can.

For example, food drives, non-profit events, leadership roundtables or any other affair that’s being sponsored by your company.

Make sure you’re getting noticed for the right things by the right people – your brand will benefit!

How does an introvert build a personal brand?

Introbert Build Personal Branding

If you’re an introvert, you’re well-acquainted with the comfortability that comes with working behind the scenes.

Getting too secure in that spot may cause your brand to suffer.

Don’t get caught up in the idea that the “backstage” nature of your work means you don’t need to put as much effort into creating your personal brand.

It may be even more important for you!

Here are three considerations for introverts.

1. You don’t have to be the loudest to be the most valuable.

Don’t feel like you have to compete with the extroverts you work with in order to be recognized.

There are other ways you can prove yourself, such as:

  • Being the researcher. Position yourself as the information source. Always be ready with data and statistics that can help to solve an issue.
  • Listening well. You’re in the perfect spot to observe and even interpret what’s being said to lend clarity to things others may have missed.
  • Playing devil’s advocate. Provide a different angle or a new way of looking at things. You’ll be helping your coworkers broaden their thinking which often leads to better results.

2. Don’t forget the power of asking good questions.

When you show up at a meeting, be prepared to ask the questions that will spark discussion.

It’ll also help you to get noticed because you’re showing that you have a grasp on the situation.

3. Share a summary.

After a meeting, send out an email to those who were in attendance and anyone else the information pertains to, summarizing what was discussed and accomplished.

It’s not likely that the extroverts who are doing all the talking are taking copious notes.

That’s where your introversion makes you the star!

Your summary can be a powerful voice and help you to become known as a valued member of the team.

As you put these strategies to work, you’ll be using your introversion to your benefit to build a strong personal brand that will get you the recognition you deserve.

Putting it all into practice

Personal Branding Practice

This is where the rubber meets the road.

You need some actionable steps to help you create the brand you want for yourself.

Here’s what you need to do.

1. Understand that it takes time.

It doesn’t happen overnight.

Start where you are and be intentional about making a lasting positive impression in each situation that comes along.

You can manage how others perceive you, but it takes time.

2. Figure out what people are saying about you.

This can be a hard one, but it’s worth the effort.

Find five people in your network who you trust and ask them to tell you the worst things they’ve heard about you.

Sounds harsh, right?

Your colleagues may not want to share but you can help them to understand that the purpose is for you to make positive changes and better yourself.

Once you have the information, you have to take ownership. Ouch.

Just hold on – it’s good for you and your career!

3. Guide the way you’re introduced.

Do you pay much attention to how you’re introduced to others?

If so, is it complimentary or do you wish it was different?

When you take charge of how you’re presented to people, you’re shaping your personal brand to be what you want it to be.

You can build your personal brand based on these questions:

  • What is your name value? Who are you?
  • What’s your title? What do you call yourself?
  • What is the scope of your territory?
  • Who is the highest ranking person that you associate with within the scope of your position?
  • What is your role in the operations?
  • What skill or talent are you known for?

4. Manage your referrals.

Find out what people are saying when they refer you to someone else.

Talk to a referral who you trust about the specific way you’d like to be presented.

For example, do you want them to emphasize how energetic you are or how you’re known for high productivity?

5. Give yourself a hashtag.

What are the words you want to be known for?

Take control and provide the words you want people to use about you.

If your creativity is what you want to be recognized for, subtly insert phrases about it into your conversation, for example.

6. Get clients to “toot your horn.”

Ask satisfied customers to share an article you wrote on social media or to post it on their website.

When others with whom you’ve worked well with begin to sing your praises, the word about your brand will get out.

7. Kindness goes a long way.

So does gratefulness.

The way you treat everyone you come into contact with says a lot about you and can have a huge impact on your personal brand.

Send thank-you notes, seek out ways to help others, speak kindly to those around you.

These seemingly “little” things add up in a big way!

Brand yourself for career success

The personal brand you create for yourself has a direct impact on the course of your career.

When you’re intentional about the connections you’re making and you’re managing the expectations others have of you, you’re positioning yourself for success.

Being mindful of the role of office politics and taking the right actions to remain relevant when you’re working remotely will also give your personal brand a boost.

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