Recently, Forbes published an article discussing why personal branding is vital to leadership development. The article contradicted the idea or stereotype that those who focus substantial time building their own reputations are really just self-absorbed brownnosers. Although this may be the case for some individuals, in general, nothing could be further from the truth.
The truth is that understanding who you are and how to communicate that ‘brand’ is vital to any social construct or any relationship, regardless of whether that is personal or in business.
To elaborate: If your colleagues don’t understand who you are, and what specific skills you bring to the table, they will be less likely to think of you when they need help with a project on which you can offer your expertise. Furthermore, without knowing your strengths, your superiors will never have any reason to choose you when they have an important project that fits your skill set. After all, who can blame them if they don’t know what you can do?
Ultimately, you are responsible for communicating your individual worth to others. It’s not brown-nosing, it’s just smart.
Remember, in business, it’s not about who you are.
It’s about what you can do. As well as how, and when, you will get it done. These standards, more than any others, determine who gets that big opportunity, and which businesses succeed.
What are the important things to remember when building your personal brand? First off, in today’s modern world, there are a few pitfalls on the road to personal PR development that need to be avoided.
Although a popular outlet for personal branding, social media is not the end-all when it comes to developing “the brand of you”. Some might read that sentence and think, “of course not,” but trends are revealing that far too many busy business pros are using Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as a their main methods of personal development, instead of investing real time, talent, and energy in other areas critical to success – such as networking and staying on top of your industry through reading and writing.
In PR, communication is key, as we all well know. But, so much communication on social media is stilted, out of context, and incomplete. The nature of those platforms creates artificial handicaps in brand development.
Individual brand development and personal public relations should never be approached with a cavalier, ‘wham, bam’ mentality. After all, is that approach what you want people to remember about you? Instead, take the time to develop real communication channels at every opportunity and I promise you will find that the time invested delivers better than expected benefits.
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations in NY and a recognized expert in PR, marketing and brand development.
Image credit: Pedro Ribeiro Simões