Let’s start by defining, what is Your Professional Brand.
Basically, it’s how others perceive you in terms of professional knowledge, acumen, aspiration, work ethic, accomplishment, and association.
Others form this perception of you based upon a combination of:
- How you present yourself to others
- How people present you to others – Reputation
Present Yourself Professionally
There is no singular definition for professional. Generally, it should refer to the commonly understood characteristics of the industry in which you work. How you present yourself to others generally flows from:
- Personal Interactions – This will concern the etiquette you follow, how well you demonstrate fit with others, and your consistency (genuineness) in doing so.
- Non-personal Presentations – These include work history or product, professional accomplishments or recognitions, your presence on social media, writings, and public displays (such as membership in groups).
Reputation with Others
Will others talk about you? Why? What will they say?
In short, you cannot fully control what others say about you or how they say it. You can, however, influence the conversation by your actions. Here are some tips to follow:
- Be Genuine – Be who you want to be. Others will recognize the uniqueness and sincerity in who you are. Who you are cannot be completely an act. It may take time, but others can see through a charade. Remember, people seek to understand others and want to be understood. Being genuine is the first step.
- Be Consistent – To be your brand people need to come to understand who you are. This means not changing who you are based upon the person or situation. Be consistent in you attitude, your work ethic, and how you treat others. Remember, a single act rarely defines your business brand (unless the act was negative).
- Top of Mind – Part of creating a brand is making someone aware of who you are (or who you want them to believe you are). This generally means showing up. Take part in events and social interactions. Have a presence personally and professionally.
- Keep Improving – While a person’s brand does not change quickly, it can and should evolve. To make certain this growth is positive, it means to constantly improve yourself. Always seek to expand your Knowledge, Skills, and Experience.