Refining your personal brand can open doors and build lasting opportunities. Here's how to get it right.
According to HubSpot, 85 percent of jobs are filled through networking and face-to-face communication. That means that some unlikely environments—your office holiday party, neighborhood gathering, or team potluck—could actually help you find your next opportunity.
While many people struggle to pin down their personal brand, it’s important to establish and maintain your reputation in all interactions—both personal and professional. From your elevator pitch to networking events to your LinkedIn profile, knowing how to represent yourself, your values, and your expertise is key to success. Though networking can be intimidating, we offer some quick tips to put into practice right away.
In the inaugural edition of The Spark podcast, Rachelle Roberts, Energy Efficiency and Transportation Recruiter, and T Clark, Director of Recruiting Operations, discuss the personal branding elements that can help you get ahead in your career.
Listen to the podcast below, and read on for some of T and Rachelle’s key takeaways.
Make sure your brand is consistent and the message is clear.
Your personal brand is a combination of the personal values, attributes, skills, and qualities that set you apart from someone else. Think of your brand like your own billboard or trademark, says Roberts — easy to comprehend and visible.
“The message needs to be clear and consistent, all the time,” says Roberts. “You have to ‘talk the talk’ and ‘walk the walk.’”
Unlike a billboard, though, remember that it’s not about self-promotion all the time. Ensure that you’re able to communicate what you bring to a team dynamic, or grow the business.
“Many times, we want to share all of our thoughts and skills, all in one conversation,” says Roberts. But that “everything but the kitchen sink approach” isn’t necessary and, more importantly, it can be confusing for others. One way to alleviate the pressure to share it all at once is to focus on the interests, needs, and communication styles of the people with whom you want to connect. If you know what your audience needs, you can target your message and focus your area of expertise.
“Rather than being a jack of all trades, look at opportunities to be a subject matter expert with a specific point of view,” says Roberts.
Reap the benefits of your personal brand.
Your personal brand can open doors and help to build lasting relationships and opportunities. The people you connect with, and the way your brand is perceived by others will have a huge impact on the network you’re trying to create. That network can include current and potential clients. It can reach future supervisors or team members. And it can span online and offline channels.
“When I shared a point of view on several topics that my audience was interested in, I started getting contacted for guest blog posts, podcasts and real work that paid the bills,” says Roberts.
Listen and share your personal branding tips, tricks and questions by tagging @JoinICF on Twitter and using the hashtag #GettingAhead.