Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Define Your Personal Brand.

Later today I am headed to Disneyland with my family. I truly believe that there is no one better at managing their brand than the Disney Corporation. Their iconic Mickey Mouse ears are everywhere, stamped in the concrete, on top of fence posts, on your tickets to get in – their brand is everywhere you look. Disney has even designed a game called “Find the Hidden Mickeys” for park visitors.

As a professional – no matter your career field – you should also aspire to build a brand as strong as the Disney Corporation. However, before you can build your brand you need to define it. I would like to give you some things to think about to help you with building your brand.

What is your specialty?
I hear people call themselves a “jack of all trades and master of none” quite often. While it is good to have a diverse base of knowledge and expertise, in order to define your brand you need to know the area in which you specialize and then strive to be the best in that area. In Arizona, we have In-N-Out Burgers. There are three items on their menu aside from drinks and fries, a burger, a cheeseburger and a double cheeseburger. Their menu is not diverse, but they make a darn good burger and they are always jam packed with customers!

How do you add value to your employer?
Employers are looking for the most cost-effective employees that will bring them the biggest return on their investment. What is your personal value statement? Do you specialize in generating sales volume, creating relationships with customers that lead to repeat business, or are you an efficiency expert? Think about the way in which you can benefit an employer and then market yourself as a specialist in this area.

What do you want to be remembered for?
People often talk about their legacy, what they will be remembered for when they are gone. Chances are you want to be remembered for more than your career accomplishments when you leave this earth for good. However, I want you to think about what your past – or your current – employer will miss the most from your absence. Is it your ability to motivate a team, your engaging training style, or your project management skills?

In order to effectively market yourself, you must first define your customer. Once you define your customer, you can define what is important to them. Lastly, you can then market your skills and benefits to your target customer. Check back next week for more information on how you can use your personal brand in the job search market.

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