Before I tell you why personal branding is worth mastering, I need you to take a deep breath and open up your mind.
Okay, let’s begin. Your personal branding is your reputation that you craft. Sometimes your reputation can precede you, meaning that people can formulate an opinion about you before they even meet you. Your reputation can be defined by others or you can take control of your brand. It’s your choice. It can seem like an extreme math problem at first, but after this read, you’ll be able to apply it in your career. We’re going to start off by talking about how you define your brand, how your brand helps your career, and then how you can apply it in your career.
To understand how it applies to you, we need to begin by defining branding. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, branding is the promoting of a product or service by identifying it with a particular brand. For example, Nike is an athletic brand associated with quality performance wear to amplify your exercise experience. Nike aligns the promotion of their products on an understanding of their own value and how their products are viewed by customers.
When branding is applied to the person, it is a two-way street experience: it’s the way you promote yourself externally and the perception of characteristics that your peers and superiors identify with you. The characteristics that you promote and the perception from your audience have to align. For example, let’s say you are a project manager with experience in transportation planning and you have great leadership skills. When you approach projects, it’s up to you to craft your personal message and align the experience to match. That means during the project you take initiative to lead the team exceptionally from project implementation to completion. It only works if your teammates believe that you have great leadership skills.
Personal branding can help you in your career because it is your own promotion of your skillset in your career field. When you and your audience have a clear understanding of your value, you will be the first on their radar when an opportunity comes about and vice versa. For example, if during a project you promoted your leadership skills and performed the work and your project team acknowledges that, in the future you will on their radar for more work.
To apply personal branding in your career, you want to attract the right people or information to grow and reach your goals and be known for these things. Ways to apply personal branding and define your brand include:
- Telling your story on social media: Using LinkedIn and Twitter to post information about your expertise. You can create your own content or repost industry leader posts.
- Creating a personal website: Use this website as a virtual resume to further showcase your expertise by identifying projects that you worked on, partnerships you have or blog posts.
- Networking: To attend events in your industry to stay abreast of the latest or build relationships with influencers. See previous blog here on for tips on networking.
- Volunteering your services: Provide your skills to non-profits or individuals to expand your client base and scalability of your skillset.
Defining your brand evolves as you grow. It’s a cycle. Keep these questions in mind as you grow:
- What key players will you need to influence and build relationships with?
- What level of a relationship is necessary to build?
- What new skills can I leverage?
The evolution of personal branding shifts like any other process in life. The process you began with might not look the same when you reach your goal, but you will pick up on how to gauge your personal brand in a professional setting with aware of it.
Christina Glancy is a Pittsburgh Native who serves as our Community Outreach Specialist. She has built a unique perspective which blends project management, marketing, community involvement and data analysis. She has a successful track record of engaging diverse groups of stakeholders throughout the Transportation, Health Care and Cybersecurity Industries. She believes in changing the world one conversation at a time.