Jeff Bezos said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” As a recent transplant to the Bay Area, new to the tech industry and starting a new job, I was very excited to learn more about developing my own personal brand at the WITI Summit.
How do we develop our brand? How do we make sure people are left with the impression of us we want them to have? I came back from the conference with a few tips on how to create and maintain a personal brand. This does, however, require a lot of thought and should be re-evaluated often.
There are 2 puzzle pieces in determining your personal brand.
- What do you stand for?
- To determine what you stand for, identify your top strengths and values.
- Navigate your own path by documenting your future vision and designing goals to achieve that vision.
- Notice what people come to you for when they are asking you for help.
- If those don’t work, ask people! Ask your friends, coworkers and family how they would describe you or what they think your key strengths and values are!
- What is important to the people you want to influence?
- Understand your audience and who you work with. If the people you work with are very design focused, take some time to learn more about design and show your value by how you are knowledgeable about what they care about.
- Pay attention to how your audience defines success. People want to see the value you can bring to helping them achieve their objectives.
Using the ABC’s of Personal Branding to Maintain your Brand:
Be Authentic. It’s important to be true to who you are in any setting. It’s not necessary to constantly exhibit the same behaviors all the time, but for people to grasp a sense of your own personal brand, it helps to be known for certain traits that you have.
Be Bold. It’s okay to not be loved by everyone. Figure out what you want to be and to whom. As women, we constantly strive for perfection in every aspect of our lives. Part of being bold is realizing that this isn’t possible, and we need to pick and choose where we want to excel. For a deeper dive into this area, check out Sally Hogshead’s perspective on “How to Fascinate” - http://www.brandfascination.com/book.
Be Consistent. People need to be able to count on you for what you stand for. People don’t always remember what you say. However, people remember how you made them feel and are more likely to make decisions based on emotion.