When it comes to advancement, doing a good job and mastering one’s craft are not enough. You need a plan that helps to highlight your value and your contributions. Your personal brand has tremendous impact on how you are perceived by others. Let’s face it, achievers want to associate with other successful people – those who have the drive, skills, character, and positive outlook to propel them to even higher heights in their chosen career or business.Your personal brand is the embodiment of who and what you represent in the minds of others. It is the essence of your emotional, physical, interpersonal, and professional attributes that shapes your reputation and how others view you. Be thoughtful and strategic about your actions “live” and in cyberspace. Understand that you cannot control all aspects of how others perceive or receive you; however, you can positively influence those perceptions in most people. A few high level tips excerpted from “A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking”:
1) Do Great Work – You need to deliver a high-quality product or service. This is a basic requirement for building a strong brand.
2) Guard Your Reputation – Treasure and protect your reputation and your good name offline and online. This is even more important in the age of the Internet and social media. With such quick access to information, it is essential that you carefully manage your image and exposure, as well as the activities and initiatives that become associated with your name……Set the necessary permissions to protect your information.
3) Know Your Value – Know your contributions to the market and to your organization. What skills do you bring to the table? What additional value do you add that is a positive differentiator from others? …..Articulate your value proposition in a way that enhances your business or work environment. Keep abreast of the market. Know what others are making if they do similar work or provide comparable services. Get a handle on this and you will be in a better position when the time comes to articulate our contributions.
Your presence, your visibility, and how you communicate also shape your personal brand and ultimately your degree of effectiveness. You want to build positive brand equity – goodwill among your constituents, stakeholders and customers. When you make investments in relationships, improvements in your products and services that increase their value, and give back to the community, you are building positive brand equity. Give generously. Be Helpful. Offer something of value and be true to your word. Not only are these the right things to do, they also help to strengthen your brand and your professional relationships.
Juliette C. Mayers
Author of “A Black Woman’s Guide to Networking”