Leveraging Personal Branding For Business and Career Success
I interviewed Simon and Kirsty Besley from Newton Creative, we discussed personal branding for career and business success, one of the projects she had been involved with on a creative level sounded particularly interesting. “The people that worked on their brands had to behave, look and speak in a certain way.” Being head of creative, she noticed that no personality was coming through and they then worked out guidelines for the character and personality of their personal brands to grow revenues.
Personal branding and corporate guidelines are important but without authenticity it is a waste of time
Some of the things to think about: –
- Personal branding and corporate guidelines and restrictions
- We also discussed the tangible value of brands
- We alleviated some of the fear around personal branding your employees
- Keeping it genuine and real is a key point we made
- We also dispel some of the myths around personal branding and where to start
- Some group activities you can do to develop your personal brand and become indispensable
Here are some other issues with people and corporations who are attempting to use personal branding
- Cultural barriers to talking about your personal brand
- How to create a brand without being arrogant and coming across being like this to your network
- Storytelling, where did you come from, how did you get here and where are you going now
- We are individuals and the probability of you being born are Trillions to one, but we still copy people’s LinkedIn profiles
- Dispel the myths around what recruiters and consultants say
- A brand blueprint is similar to corporate brand guideline
- It goes back to what is going on in your life and where are you going
Where are you trying to go starts before building your personal brand
- You may not think you need a personal brand until you sell your business or need a new job
- Get headhunted because your personal brand is great and you are great at what you do
- Building your business up or your career follows your personal brand
- Pivoting your career and using your brand to do that
- If you don’t know what your personal brand is how can you sell yourself, you need to be in control of your career path
- You have a personal brand like it or not so don’t neglect it
Building your personal brand can be a lot of fun using your creativity
- Bringing past experiences from the past to what I am doing now
- Bring creative into it…having fun business cards or having a unique style
- Entrepreneurs may not want to have a personal brand for security risks
Brand Guidelines can restrict people to build their personal brands, unfortunately some can restrict the success of their teams if they don’t give some real thought as to how the social media activities of their staff effect their businesses and how their guidelines can damage their success.
Acting in accordance with the corporate guidelines is key and working on the social media profiles of people was key to this and for how the people wanted to project themselves.
They also brought people in to go through body language and the posture of the people who are building their brands and help them to look more confident and deliver the message that sits behind the desired business drivers.
Selling your people to their networks is key so they can get buy in then sell the brand is crucial, restricting your people from showing off their key skills in a way that sells themselves is key.
Remembering a 12 year old should understand what you do and be able to explain it to your parents is key, the smoke and mirror approach is not recommended, otherwise how are they going to tell others what you do.
If you haven’t listened to it yet I suggest you put your earphones on!
Working out a tangible value to your personal brand is really important and whichever department you can build your personal brand which becomes an asset to your business.
I mentioned the film “Street Cat Called Bob” and how the brand of someone is worth a tremendous amount of money, you may have a brand and not know it, in the film the tangible value of the personal brand was huge when he was approached to write a book.
We agreed that building a tangible value from someone’s personal brand is not an easy task, it can differ in the metrics that are used to deliver a value of your brand.
When Kirsty delivered the personal brand project, it definitely delivered 5 figures or perhaps 6 figures on top of the bottom line for the business she was involved with. (unfortunately due to a contract she is not allowed to discuss who it was.)
When leaving your current job you have built up an asset value, which is a combination of your skills and your personal brand.
A personal brand is built day by day and takes a lot of effort every contact you make is a bi product of that. The personal brand is creating an asset value and is actually a motivational tool to drive activities certainly for the sales people.
There is a fear that can stop businesses from building their employees brands and some people just sit there with their expertise and telling people about their skills can assist the growth of revenue.
It is linked in to company culture and can spread the good will of the business and as long as the people don’t become a broadcast channel for the company’s corporate content is a huge problem, people buy from people and ramming corporate culture down your networks necks is awful and such a waste of social media training and tools.
Tap into your employees expertise and help them to build their personal brands using their expertise and showing it off in the right light is one of the best things you can do.
People need to explain what they do in simple words everyone can understand what they do. Developing a motto or a slogan is one of the exercise that Kirsty did when working on a project to create employees personal brands and taking coaching is key.
What key words are used when someone leaves the room and what do you want people to say about themselves when they leave the room. It can be a great exercise to do when people are in the room you get them to work out a slogan for themselves.
People need coaching and a lot of people need to be taught how to put themselves across to achieve their goals. In the UK we have a culture problem and we don’t tell people how good we are.
Because my dad was educated at MIT and was Britain’s leading business management expert, I was surrounded by his personal brand, but many people do it the wrong way round and build a personal brand prior to building the network will deliver much better results.
So explain what you actually do is the first place to start, this needs to be explained in plain English or whatever your native language is and in words that everyone can understand not just some meaningless jargon.
If you still haven’t put your earphones on yet here is the link again
The second element is what gives me authority and credibility, for an example I have worked with IBM and won an award from LinkedIn. The amount of time you have in the business world in your space.
Simon has studied marketing extensively and obtained his CIM, whereas Kirsty has worked with some big corporations as a creative and on some large branding projects and we agreed until you get used to your story and telling people about it, it just feels alien and not normal to us.
If you think we it is one trillion to one that we were going to be born as we are in this day and age means we are unique.
I mentioned how people copy other people’s profiles from LinkedIn and we agreed that many people do copy profiles, recruiters and business coaches will tell people to work on your CV prior to your brand blueprint, we agreed it was similar to creating a brochure for a company without brand guidelines first.
So creating a personal brand blueprint is crucial before creating social profiles, perhaps you may not need a personal brand, if you own a company and don’t want a personal brand, then perhaps you should not build one in the first place, you still need to ensure you manage how you appear on Google.
Whether you like it or not you have a personal brand; on Google you are still there, if you have built a big business then perhaps you don’t want to have a visible personal brand, steering it in the right direction is key when you are wanting to sell your business or you lose your job and end up in the job centre.
If you have a great personal brand you can be in control of your own career path
Taking the time to find a job when you have a personal brand you will be able to secure the work or a new venture you want versus taking whatever comes along.
Imagine being an entrepreneur and not building your brand, why not build it now before you move on from your business. Building your personal brand can be a lot of fun and you can play with it,
Tech Entrepreneur Michael Tobin OBE had a lot of fun when building his personal brand and we discussed some of it here and in a podcast with him here Build Business Acumen
But without having an idea on where you want to be is key to moving forwards, building in the passion in your life, you will be much more successful in your career if you find this out.
Kirsty said building the personal brand helps you get rid of distractions and be sure to know certain opportunities aren’t for me. Personal brand helps you to build confidence in your key skills as you realise them and actually is linked to your personal development.
If your back is against the wall it can be very difficult to move your career in the right direction is key, you need to take action to build your personal brand.
I wished that I had spent the time to build my personal brand consciously five years ago rather than wasting time on social media, I make the similarity between building your personal brand plan and sailing a boat from Cowes to Port Solent it usually is not built quickly.
Spend time working out what you enjoy doing, like Lao Tzu Says ‘If you do a job you love you will never work a day in your life!’
If you are in a job you don’t like now don’t panic just get on with it and build the skills that you need and build them alongside your personal brand.
If you want some help with your personal brand then please email firstname.lastname@example.org