News flash, you already have one. The number one misconception in the minds of people I talk to is that this is either something that they have no need for, or will have to create out of thin air. The reality is everyone who works with people has a brand.
So exactly what is a brand? Your brand is your reputation, what you’re perceived to be known for, your street cred. Its what others say and think about you when you’re not in the room. Your brand follows you everywhere you go. A strong brand, good or bad, will arrive before you do, so it’s important that you play an active role in managing it.
Decisions are made everyday in the workplace based on what is thought of an employee. Ever wonder how some employees get placed on high-profile projects, promoted or moved onto global assignments without going through any sort of competitive process? They may not have the greatest network or know all of the right people and yet they are able to navigate their careers upward successfully.
What makes them remarkable is that they take the time to carefully cultivate their professional brand. They make strategic choices to ensure they are always seen in a way that is going to make a positive impact on the people that matter. Sure, they do great work, but they understand that producing results is just the launch pad for building a powerful brand.
If you’re interested in taking a hard look at your own brand, here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to get started:
1. What do I have to offer?
2. How do others see me?
3. How do I see myself?
4. How do I want to be seen?
For most, these questions are going to require some thought, and that’s a good thing. Great brands don’t happen by accident. Take the time to look introspectively and then take action.