Polish Your Personal Brand
Personal Branding for Women Leaders…
Branding and personal branding are hot topics in business and personal development now. Why all the buzz? Businesses and people with the strongest brands are the most successful and make the most money. You may think it is odd that a person would have a brand. A brand is more than a logo. In the case of a personal brand, your brand is a sum of your behaviors, attitudes, actions and personal style. It’s what you are known for and makes up your reputation and image.
It’s the same for business, except businesses use logos, websites and marketing materials to represent those qualities. To be noticed and be a successful leader, you should be able to define your personal brand. Your personal brand is a combination of who you are and what you stand for.
Wildly successful, Oprah clearly knows who she is and what she stands for – empowering women. Her personality, vision for and commitment to women has contributed to her phenomenal success.
Who do you admire? What are her personal qualities? What contributes to her success?
You can strengthen your presence, your leadership, your results by focusing on and identifying your personal strengths and talents (who you are) and what difference you want to make and what results you want to create (what you stand for.)
You’ll know you have a strong personal brand when you show up and people say about you:
I need to meet her
She is someone I need to know
Or other people will say, “You need to know her” about you.
Other ways you’ll know you have a strong personal brand are that you are top-of-mind for special projects, promotions, big opportunities, new clients. People trust you because they know who you are and what you stand for.
Women don’t always take time to focus on who they are. We try to be everything to everybody in order to avoid conflict, be helpful, keep the relationships. This comes from that outdated superwoman myth. Time to abolish that notion!
Top leaders know what to say yes to and when to say no, which I find is a skill women often need to learn. You strengthen your personal brand and leadership style when you understand when to say yes and when to say no.
I firmly believe that women can be leaders in restoring the economy by focusing on who they are and what they do best. It’s a great time to identify your personal brand of leadership.
To get started on your personal brand:
1. List three to five areas where you really shine. Identify situations where you felt the most satisfied. One of my personal examples is a team sales pitch I led for a former employer that resulted in winning a large account with a Fortune 500 company. The skills and talents I used to lead that process are part of my personal brand.
2. Purchase the book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths” by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton. It comes with a code for an online assessment that will identify your top five talents. The book offers suggestions for each talent identified.
To know what you stand for, take some time to think about:
1. What do I want to create? What results? What relationships?
2. Where are my passions? What difference do I want to make?
Mother Teresa stood for ending poverty and hunger. Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop, stood for helping tribes in indigenous cultures create micro-economies. Women like Mary Kay Ash and Estee Lauder had a unique vision and used their talents to innovate both cosmetics and a business model that supports women.
Your personal brand is already within you. When you are clear on who you are and what you offer, you can be unstoppable. Defining your personal brand will enhance your reputation, build your confidence and empower you as a leader.
© 2009 Kathy Garland, all rights reserved.
Kathy Garland, http://www.kathygarland.com is a transformational leader who works with women leaders on their brands, client acquisition and creating focus for the future and frequently writes and speaks on these topics. She resides in McKinney, Texas and works with clients on branding and client acquisition across the U. S. and Canada.
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