Today I checked off one of my big goals for 2018 when Dr. Bret Simmons invited me to be a guest speaker for his MBA class on Personal Branding. My guest lecture was important to me because I am passionate about helping students learn to create value for themselves.
For those who weren’t able to attend the presentation today, here’s a re-cap:
Why Your Personal Brand Is Important to Your Professional Growth
I asked the students to raise their hand if they were currently working at their “dream job”. I defined the “dream job” as a career that you feel satisfied in, where you are fulfilled on a day-to-day basis, and where you can see yourself happily working long-term.
Out of the entire class, only one student raised her hand. Good for her!
However, I want to see more people finding fulfillment in their professional lives. Personal branding is important for the other 99% of the class who didn’t raise their hand. Personal branding is how those people can strategically grow in their desired career field.
When you develop your personal brand strategically, it will set you up as a trusted advisor in your field. When you’re a trusted advisor in your industry, it makes it easy for a company to feel confident about hiring you or promoting you. Here’s a few ways to get started.
Concrete Steps to Grow Your Personal Brand
For those looking to grow their personal brand, here’s what worked for me. First, ask yourself this question:
Where do I want to be in 3 years?
The 3 years timeline works because it is close enough in the future that you can easily visualize it, yet far enough away that you have time to plan for it. So think about where you want to be in 3 years:
- Maybe you see yourself being promoted at your company and widening your career responsibilities
- Perhaps you want to change industries/jobs completely
- Or even start your own company?
Whatever your 3-year vision is for yourself, create content to move you towards your goal.
For example, if you want to start your own company for fitness in Hawaii, write about fitness in Hawaii. If you see yourself changing career fields, create content about the industry that you want to work in. If you see yourself moving up in your current organization, focus on content in your current field- find your niche in your industry.
Ask yourself: why do people share what they share?
When you start developing content, it’s important to think about why people share what they share. In Jonah Berger’s book “Contagious: Why Things Catch On”, he explains that people share content that represents who they are.
In short, make your content about other people instead of about yourself.
If your content is others-focused, and helps people learn, or provides value to them, then your content will be worth reading. You will be worth talking about. You will be worth referring as a trusted advisor. You will establish a personal brand that helps get you where you want to go.
In conclusion, if you’re struggling to find fulfillment in your career path, developing your personal brand is a concrete way to move forward. Along the way, you might find yourself feeling more purposeful in your everyday life.
For more detailed information on my presentation, or help with leveraging your personal brand- just ask! Leave a comment below with any questions or comments you may have. I’m here to help.