Remember the last time you cringed when you heard the way someone described who you are or what you do? Maybe you’ve found yourself sweating over how to describe yourself or your latest project. How about those business cards of yours, that bio, your website or that promotional reel you created? Those giving you any stress? All of these issues are part of a process called Branding, and it has a lot more to do with you and your success than you might think.
Companies focus on branding when marketing new products or businesses to consumers because they know that public perception can make or break their success. In your career, it’s helpful to consider yourself as a product that you have to sell or promote to clients, employers, admissions boards and colleagues. What’s your personal branding? What do you want other people to think of when you pop into their minds?
The way you are perceived by others is directly proportional to your success. Here are a few tips for developing a solid personal brand:
- Think about the things you want to promote about yourself, not the stuff you want to hide.
- Create a branding statement: Who am I? What am I proud of? What am I good at? How am I unique or different?
- Leave a lasting impression on everyone you come in contact with – even the ones you don’t see. Pay attention to grammar and tone in your e-mails and phone calls. (One of our favorite tips for very important calls or phone interviews: Look in a mirror when you are speaking and smile. Your smile can translate into a positive impression to the person on the other end!)
- In person, make sure to smile, look the other person in the eye and give a confident handshake. Pay attention to the way you dress.
- Speak loudly, confidently and with certainty.