See The Big Picture

This is the first in a series of posts about rethinking your personal brand.Times have changed: Smarts, diligence and hard work aren’t enough to ensure career success. We all know lots of hard-working, intelligent people who are stuck in dead-end jobs, unemployed or (worse) unhappy with their current position. Personal branding is about developing a strategy that positions you differently from others.

Know yourself. A successful personal brand is authentic, so you need to be honest about who you are. If you’re timid, shy and easily distracted, you’re not likely to succeed by pretending to be outgoing, loud and focused. In the words of Baltasar Gracián:

Self-knowledge is the beginning of self-improvement.

Know your competitors. You can’t stand above the crowd without first taking a look around. It’s important to determine who the current players are and understand their particular strengths (and weaknesses).

Know your target. To be successful, you must not only have a personal brand, but also communicate it to the right people. Marketing yourself to the entire world is very expensive. The key to successful personal branding is to focus on your niche and then become the expert.

Your goal is to be different. Personal Branding is about discovering relevant differences and creating positive perceptions. It used to be about, “Can you do the job?” Today many people can do what you do.

Find out what makes you special and actively try to improve it even further. Real success won’t be far behind.

*If you’re unsure about how to apply these tips to yourself, email me – I’d be happy to help brainstorm ideas. Also, don’t forget to signup for my newsletter where I’ll provide more insider’s tips on getting ahead.