By Kathryn Sandford

As a Career Coach the very first thing I do with a client is help them create their personal brand. Many people believe that having a great CV is the key to their career success and it is still, but to a lesser degree. Everyone has a CV; no one else has your distinct Personal Brand.

It is your Personal Brand that differentiates you from everyone else and that is what people buy – YOU.

A Personal Brand is your mark on the world

It is how people you interact with and the world, see you. It is your legacy – it is more important than a business brand because your personal brand lasts forever.

I have coached people who have very successful careers and they come to me because they have suddenly found that they are not getting the opportunities or having the conversations that are leading them to their next role. I call this a Career Meltdown.

Personal Branding helps you to become conscious of your differences

It ultimately allows you to position yourself in a way that makes you stand out from the pack, especially among other potential job applicants.

Don’t get me wrong having a great CV and a great LinkedIn profile is important. However there are a few steps that you have to take to have a CV and LinkedIn profile that is aligned to who you are, the value you offer to the market and the personal guarantee that you deliver results.

Building your personal brand is about strategically, creatively, and professionally presenting what makes you, you. Knowing who you are and the value you bring to the table enables you to be more informed, agile and adaptable to the changing dynamic world of work. This is how you avoid career meltdowns.

Creating your personal brand does not happen over night. It takes a lot of work and self-reflection. You will be expected to step outside of your comfort zone not once but many times. The good news is that the more time you spend outside of your comfort zone the more you will like being there. Being outside of your comfort zone is where you are able to test the viability of, and fine-tune, your personal brand.

5 key steps to creating your Personal Brand

These five steps will help you to create a personal brand that will deliver you the results you desire.

  1. Set your personal goals.

What is it that you want to do in the next five years? What will your future self be doing in the next 5-10 years? What is important to you?

  1. Create your unique value proposition by asking yourself these 4 questions.
  • What are your personality features? What benefit do you offer people?
  • Who are you and why do people enjoy working with you?
  • What do you do and what do people want you to do for them? How do you solve their problems?
  • What makes you different from others like you?

The answers to these questions will give you the information you need to create your professional story, which is the key step to creating your personal brand.

  1. Write your professional story.

Knowing who you are, what you want and the unique value you offer is essential to you to creating your professional story.  People remember stories. Your personal story incorporates your value proposition and tells people who you are and what makes you unique. This is what people will remember about you.

  1. Determine which platforms will support your personal brand.

Decide which social media accounts and online platforms will best represent your brand and allow you to share your voice. In a professional capacity having a LinkedIn profile and a CV that reflects your brand is key to your positioning in relation to role opportunities. People will be connecting with you because they will like the story you are telling.

5. Become recognised for sharing your knowledge and expertise

A great way for you to promote you is by sharing knowledge and helping others. This is where you prove you know your stuff and you gain exposure for doing so. You can do this through social media, writing, commenting, video, joining professional groups, networking etc. Find your own style and uniqueness and use it to attract the clients, the opportunities or the jobs you desire.

Stand out

The importance of having a personal brand is not going to go away. In fact it is the only way where you can stand out and be unique in a complex changing world of work. If you don’t have a personal brand someone will do it for you. If you let this happen you have no control and you may not like the story they create.

To stand out from others takes time and investment. Most people cannot make the change by themselves and this is where engaging a career coach is a viable option to consider.

As a career coach working with my clients to create their personal brand is my passion. I love the fact that we can work together to create a personal story that defines exactly what people will say when you leave the room.

Other people’s stories

Listening to other people’s stories is a great way to learn. I have found three Ted Talks that discuss the Why, the What & the How of Personal Branding. Take some time out to learn more about Personal Branding and how you can avoid having a career meltdown.

  1. 8 Things A Personal Brand Can Do For You
  2. Powerful Personal Branding
  3. Designing A Powerful Personal Brand

If you want to explore further about how to create your personal brand contact me. I would be happy to have a chat over a coffee.