Businesses have brands. Their brands are not just built by advertising. Their brands are built by what their market thinks about them.
You have a personal brand. Who is your market? It’s the influencers that are in the business that employs you – and other influencers out there in the business world.
Influencers at work
Your manager and other managers at work. And your colleagues.
What will build your personal brand?
- Punctuality. Not just when you arrive at work but attending meetings on time.
- Professional approach. Do all your work as if your job depended on it. Actually it does and your promotion also depends on it.
- Integrity. Integrity is not just about honesty. It also involves not criticising colleagues and your managers behind their back. Don’t get involved in company gossip. If you can’t think of anything good to say remain silent.
- Helping colleagues and people who report to you. This does not involve jumping in and helping them do their work. Look up articles and learn about coaching. Coach. Help remove barriers that may be standing in the way of them doing their work.
- Using social media responsibly. This includes LinkedIn. Use a good photo of yourself. Not one where you’re pulling, what you think, are funny faces – or cuddling your cat/dog. Use correct spelling in your bio. ‘Wannabe CA, future President are really inappropriate. Don’t, like some idiots, run your employer down. Stay away from comments about politics and religion. Social media is in the public eye. Even if you don’t use you real name what will you do if your boss or at an interview for a job you’re asked if you’re on Twitter and you say you are. If you’re using your own name that fine but what if you’re not and your tweets are offensive. If you give them the pseudonym you use it could harm your brand if they look you up. The same applies to anything you post on Facebook.
- Learn and grow. Read the Trade Publications that relate to the industry your employer operates in. Read Engineering News Week. Even if you are not in engineering yourself and your company isn’t you will still learn about big projects that are announced. Some of these projects may be being undertaken by your company’s customers. This could be useful information even if you’re not in sales yourself. Tell company’s sales people what you have read that is relevant to your employer and even if they tell they know about it your brand will be enhanced – because you’re showing an interest in the business. Read about technology, business, the economy, leadership and anything about the field in which your company operates. Visit the websites of competitors your company has.
- Learn to write well. Reading a lot will help your writing skills. If you struggle with writing take a short course on business writing. You employer may even fund it. Anything you write well, from proposals, memos, reports to emails, will enhance your personal brand. See: http://www.melbrooks.co.za/blog/leadership-and-writing
Influencers outside of your workplace
- Managers who have left the company. Keep in touch with them. If they know you’re good this could lead to a job offer at some time in the future.
- People you meet outside the company. See: http://www.melbrooks.co.za/blog/invest-in-yourself-first
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