This is the second part of a 3-part series of Personal Branding. You can read the first part of the series, “Why Everyone Should Act Like an Entrepreneur” by clicking on the link.
Your value in the market place and your industry is reflected in your Personal Brand. Your skills, emotional intelligence and experience all add or detract from how you are perceived. There is a mutual relationship between career success and personal branding. Creating a strong personal brand establishes yourself as a leader and increases credibility that you can achieve results. In a competitive world, your personal branding can give you the ability to stand out from the crowd.
Here are 10 Actions You Can Take Today to Improve Your Personal Branding
Before you can even begin to think about Personal Branding, you need to know where you stand. What competencies are needed in your industry and where do you feel you can stand out the most? There is a common debate on whether you should focus on your strengths or improve on your weaknesses. When it comes to Personal Branding, think of what is unique to you. Which natural ability do you have that can easily put you at an MVP level? It is all about standing out and that starts with being self-aware.
Focus on Your Development
Personal Development and growth should be a key priority throughout your career. What worked 10 years ago, won’t necessarily work today. Depending on your industry, your skills, if they are not upgraded, can become irrelevant within a year. The best investment you will always make is the investment in yourself. If you want to become an expert in a subject matter or increase a skill level, you need to do the work required. This can be done in many forms: reading, listening to a podcast, taking a course, or surrounding yourself with people who will help you stretch yourself and your goals.
Asking for feedback on your progress can be a great indicator of whether you are meeting the needs of your company, your clients, or your team. Listening to what others have to say about your performance, the company, or the industry can give you great insight of where you need to focus your energy.
“I think it’s very important to have a feedback loop, where you’re constantly thinking about what you’ve done and how you could be doing it better. I think that’s the single best piece of advice: constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.” – Elon Musk
Add Value as a Leader
You don’t need to have a Leadership title in order to become a Leader. No truly successful person can achieve success on their own. If you want to truly be of value, learn to add value to your team. Be the “go to” person that the team can count on to help get things done.
[tweetthis]“Teamwork is so important that it is virtually impossible for you to reach the heights of your capabilities or make the money that you want without becoming very good at it.” – Brian Tracy[/tweetthis]
In today’s industries, one thing is certain, there will be changes in the Marketplace. Companies need to evolve if they are to stay relevant. In order for a company to evolve, its employees must be able to adapt to changes. Being Open Minded is not just a key asset, it is a non-negotiable.
Learn from Mistakes
One thing is certain, you will make mistakes, more than once. What will differentiate you from others is how quickly you learn from your mistakes and how often you make the same mistakes. When a mistake is make, own it, don’t hide from it. Take the time to reflect on what you could have done differently and then make sure you do just that.
“Life is all about evolution. What looks like a mistake to others has been a milestone in my life. Even if people have betrayed me, even if my heart was broken, even if people misunderstood or judged me, I have learned from these incidents. We are human and we make mistakes, but learning from them is what makes the difference.” – Amisha Patel
Above and Beyond
You always have 3 choices when it comes to delivering on your promises and commitments:
- Do only what is required of you and no more.
- Do less than is required of you. After all, if you get away with it, why not?
- Go above and beyond and exceed expectations.
Each decision will take you down a specific path. If you want to invest in your personal branding, the best option is always to go “Above and Beyond” when it comes to delivering on expectations. Develop a culture of performance and make sure that you are always results oriented. You will not only increase your personal branding but your motivation due to increased performance.
“My father taught me to always do more than you get paid for as an investment in your future. “
A skill that everyone agrees is important but a skill that is rarely found. Take a few seconds and name 10 people who you have met that have been great communicators. I mean those people who can not only communicate their messages with inspiration, but those who you felt TRULY listened and understood what you had to say. How easy was it for you to name off 10 people? You might not even have reached that number. As a ratio to the number of people you have met in your life, I think it’s safe to say that great communicators are rare.
The ability to be a great communicator is one of your greatest assets.
Seek Stretch Projects
Part of going “Above and Beyond” is in seeking and successfully completing Stretch Projects. Stretch assignments allow to you develop your skills even further, often putting you out of your Comfort Zone.
“According to the Catalyst report “Good Intentions, Imperfect Execution?”, of the high potentials they questioned, 62 percent claimed that obtaining stretch assignments was most favoring to their careers above any other factor.”
Stretch assignments also help boost your visibility and open up new opportunities.
Think Two Levels Higher
No matter where you are in your career, prepare and work towards developing your skills two levels higher. If you are a District Manager, work towards developing yourself to become a V.P. This kind of preparation will not only ensure you are ready for the next level that much faster, it also helps you succeed in whichever level you are at.
What strategies do you have to increase your Personal Branding? What skills would you like more training on?