As we head into a new decade, the days of a separate work and home personality are long gone. People want to be themselves at work, and the separation of home and work life is no longer a reality. In all honesty, it’s unlikely it could have been sustained as the world we work in continues to change. Technology has a great deal to do with adding to the pressures of modern life. We are now contactable when we work from home, are on holiday and even at the weekends. The demands we make of ourselves and which are a feature of our professional lives, are simply too much to expect people to park at the office door.

The Communication Journey

With the advent of platforms like LinkedIn and the rise of remote working Social media is now where you make your first impressions count. This has led to the traditional ways of communication changing. The two-step process of the phone call and then a face to face meeting has evolved to become a 4 step process.

  • Digital = LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook
  • Face = Zoom, Skype
  • Voice = Phone call
  • In-person = Meeting

If I want to understand who someone is in business the first place, I look is LinkedIn. This type of platform is much more than just another way of presenting your CV. Yes, I want to see an overview of your career journey, but more importantly, I want to understand who you are and what you can bring to the table. If your profile isn’t up to date or is stayed and boring, you're reducing your chances to appeal to the industry, sector and people you're looking to work with in the future. Which is why it’s so important to showcase who you are and tell your individual story, in these various arenas.

What Should Your Personal Brand Demonstrate?

  1. Your unique promise of value, this needs to be consistent. (Pick your theme).
  2. Differentiates you from the competition.
  3. Showcases your unique combination of skills and experiences
  4. Builds trust between clients, contacts, you and the industry
  5. Increases brand awareness so you can retain clients and gain exposure to new ones. This happens naturally when people are viewed as trustworthy thought leaders.
  6. We just need to be ourselves and talk/write about what we know.

Where to start

Follow the top Industry Influencers in your field and the sectors and industries you’re interested in. Join groups who are discussing topics you’re interested in. Post articles related to your professional and personal interests. Knowledge sharing is often the key to success and a great way to build a reputation as a thought leader in your field. Join groups as they can be fantastic sources of information. Follow influencers, interact and leave comments so you start to be recognised. Engagement is key.

One of the best ways to create engagement is to write short posts framed as questions.

  • Does anyone else..?
  • How do you…?
  • What has been your experience?

 The Value of Networking

Your professional and personal network shouldn’t just be online, in places like LinkedIn, although the value of these types of networks isn’t to be underestimated. The value of real human interactions, made by attending networking events, training courses and other real-life professional meetings, makes a huge difference in how we communicate, and also how we learn. The people you connect with and network with the more doors open in places you would least expect.

It’s exactly the same when it comes to telling your own story and building your own personal brand. Being a part of a professional community allows you to see how others in your field are doing and can even help with inspiring you when it comes to setting yourself goals and benchmarks, you want to achieve. This is also key for your interests outside of the professional arena.

 Creating the Shortlist of One

You are your best secret weapon. Fresh ideas about how you promote yourself or your business can include contributing to newspaper stories, writing articles and even appearing on Podcasts. You are your brand, so why not tell your own story. Self-promotion (done in the right way) is a necessary part of how you take yourself to market. People buy into other people, and in these days of social media, your target market is looking to be a part of the journey you take on the way to success.

 The power of networking builds both personal reputation and brand awareness. We’re all aware of people like Richard Branson, Elon Musk, and others where their unique personal brand has more interest and followers than the business brand. People are interested in other people and want to feel that they know the person's values before they align themselves with their own values and culture.

The trust in big corporations and governments has been irrevocably eroded over the last few years and people are looking to work with people they can trust and be able to advocate for. With rising fake news and corporate promises being broken, its time for the individual to shine through.

 

 

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