What is personal branding?
If you’re in the management space or considering becoming a manager, you’ve likely heard a few vague terms thrown around like synergy, vision, and personal branding. Today, I want to dig into the latter and help you understand the basics of personal branding and why it’s so crucial to your career and personal growth.
Simply put, your personal brand as an ambitious career woman is the story you’re telling about yourself at work and in the world. It’s vital to your career success, because if you don’t take the time to develop and share your personal brand, then everyone you engage with at work is writing their own story about you—one that’s easily influenced by an off day or personal slight.
The good news? Most people are lazy and will accept your personal brand as truth until it’s proven wrong. So be intentional about the story you’re telling!
Too often I see women in the workplace default to a few traits that undermine their personal branding opportunity: humility and deferment. While these may be positive traits, when they’re all that your coworkers are seeing you demonstrate, it’s easy for those behaviors to be perceived as passive and lacking confidence. Instead, focus on telling an active and engaged story about the type of person you are, where you’re headed, and the situations you really thrive in.
I conducted a mini experiment on personal branding and career success with a cohort of ambitious women a few years ago. I invited each out for coffee and asked them what they felt was holding them back from the career success and milestones they so wanted.
Every one of these powerful, brilliant women told me that what was holding them back was not having a champion in the workplace.
But—this is important. Many of them also struggled to articulate what exactly they wanted that champion to do for them or say about them. In other words, they struggled to identify what made them uniquely valuable. They had no vocabulary for their own gifts, and therefore no personal brand—so whether they were seeking a champion or trying to advocate for themselves, there wasn’t a ton to work with.
How can I start my personal branding journey?
This lack of a vocabulary that centers and validates women’s skill sets at work is just one reason for why I developed the Personal Power Code, a personality assessment for modern women leaders. I have created a process that walks you through identifying who you are as a leader and an individual, and can serve as both the basis of your personal brand AND a guide of sorts that helps you self-manage in order to produce your best work. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS PROCESS.
You don’t need to be an expert in order to practice personal branding, though. Start with getting curious about yourself—what makes you feel fulfilled at work? What values do you ascribe to professionally? How do you want others to view you? What kind of work do you want to be the go-to person for?
Next, generate a list of five actions that would help you demonstrate the answers you came up with. If you value authenticity, how can you show that in your daily activities? If you want to be the go-to person for client facing work, how might you demonstrate that?
How would defining your personal brand help you create new workplace opportunities? Let me know via DM over @lauraweldy on instagram!
My name is Laura Weldy, and I’m a women’s leadership coach. I help women in the workplace become confident leaders by tackling their mindset head on so they can think like a leader before they have the job title. I do this through professional coaching, virtual coaching, small group masterminds and powerful courses. If you’re looking to become more successful and fulfilled at work, let’s talk! I’d love to help you build an action plan for success. Click here to apply for a free coaching consultation with me directly!