Answer this question, how many of you ever felt that you don’t really know how effectively you should present yourselves? What I mean is, brand your identity, package your skills and knowledge in a certain way that is more appealing? If you’ve struggled with this concept, the first guest blogger, Zsolt Olah, in TE’s ‘30 Days of Awesome Learning’ (30DOAL), will be of great help. He lays out effective and actionable strategies for to take your brand to the next level. Read on…
Zsolt is Director of Innovation and Learning solutions at PDG (https://www.performdev.com/), where he’s responsible for a team to deliver innovative learning and performance solutions that drive business results. Zsolt worked as a Sr. Program Manager at Comcast University, where he was the thought leader in the creative learning solutions space, spearheading the research and application strategy of game thinking within corporate L&D. Zsolt is a frequent speaker at learning conferences, active on social media, often blogging on game thinking and learner engagement at http://www.rabbitoreg.com(an impressive site, I absolutely love checking his posts out). Currently, he’s working on a book on lessons learned in pursuit of engagement, motivation and inspiration in L&D. He’s a learning enthusiast and you can support his book through this site.
So, here are his tried and tested strategies on Personal Branding. You’ll love it:
“I still remember the first time I used a thermal camera. It was a hands-on session at college. We put our hands on the surface of a bucket of cold water. Then, after ten seconds we lifted it up. And there it was: our palm print was still clearly visible for a long time through the thermal camera. Now, of course, with your naked eye, there was nothing to see but water.
I often think personal brand the same way. It’s the energy footprint you leave behind when you’re not even there anymore. Both digital and in real life (IRL). It’s invisible, unless you have a sensitive equipment to view it. We, humans all have that sensitive equipment. Every person in the room you meet virtually or IRL forms an opinion on you. The bad news is that your personal brand is very subjective. As if we all had our thermal camera calibrated differently. The good news is that you can shape that energy footprint you leave behind.
Think of a brand you
like! Car makers, electronics, fashion, food, whatever… You probably think of a logo, a tag line and the impressions they had one you. It’s all in your head! Every car maker makes cars that takes you from point A to point B. That’s not their brand. Brand is how you FEEL about the ride. Who would you ride with. It’s about the impressions they create in your mind.
Here’s 5 things you can do to make your personal brand shape that impression!
MOTTO: Create and share value that both you and others appreciate.
- CULTIVATE it! Actually, everyone has a personal brand. Whether you are aware of it or not, your energy footprint is out there. I like to use the verb CULTIVATE, as opposed to create or build, because it takes time and effort to grow your brand, just like a garden. If you don’t cultivate it, you rely on the beauty of weeds.
- AUDIT your brand before you build a vision! Personal brand is a living garden. It has seasons and over time, your vision for the garden changes. But before you start planting in the garden, you need to audit the impression you’ve already made. Google your name. See what comes up on your digital footprint. Be mindful what you share and post online. Ask your colleagues, anonymously if you wish, what words they would use to describe you and your work. That’s your impression footprint.
- FIND inspirations! Who are the people inspire you most? Find them. Connect with them. Be social. Twitter, LinkedIn or real-life, follow them, and see what they see. Being associated with people you admire makes your brand stronger as well. It does not mean you should mimic them! Working out loud is a powerful way to share your values and learn from others.
- BE authentic! Do not cultivate something you do not like. There’s nothing more devastating to personal branding than the impression of being fake. You should have a vision and stretch goals where you’d want to be, but be yourself! For example, I was often told in the corporate world, humor may damage my personal brand because it is perceived as someone not seriously focused. I accepted that but that’s who I am. If you read some of the 30DayChallenge posts, you’ll get the idea. Your brand may change over time but stick to your core values.
- Reinvent! As I mentioned, your brand is not set in stone. It’s a living garden. You and the world around you keep changing. It is okay to reinvent time to time. Create a personal website. Blog, curate and share. Create value for others.
BONUS TIP: Create a logo, tagline and a short ad about who you are! Hang it up as a poster, so you can see it. Every. Single. Day.
The bad news is that everything you do, say, don’t do and don’t say shape your personal brand both digital and IRL. The good news is that everything you do, say, don’t do and don’t say shape your personal brand both digital and IRL. Take charge now!”
Now, you tell us, put it in comments below: Have you got any strategies for your personal brand development? Share it, we love hearing it from folks who’d got it. If you’re struggling to develop that personal brand, share your story as well. You might be thrilled to see how someone may be able to help you.
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