Recently, while attending a party, a woman introduced herself and instead of asking me what I did for a living, she asked “What do you value?” My answer reminded me that her question speaks to the heart of what personal branding is all about.  So what exactly is a personal brand? I’ll start by saying that it is so much more emotionally charged than your accomplishments and job description! It is about the principles that guide you both internally and externally. At the core of your brand are what you value, what you would defend to the end and what you are most passionate about. It is who you are consistently. In addition, your personal brand has as its foundation how people perceive you and your perception of yourself. It is who you are in the world and how you interact with others.

Why is personal branding so important?

Think of the Nike swish, it is unique and carries exuberant energy. It makes you want to get off the couch and Just Do It!  You also have a “logo” you carry around in the form of your actions, words and behaviors.  It is your unique and stunning brand. It’s important to be able to articulate who you are in a compelling and inspiring way so that you can attract buyers, clients or employers who want what you offer. Since it is who you are, you don’t have to make it up. You just need to tell your story in an indelible and consistent way. This is how you will build your personal brand.

When you are crystal clear about your purpose, values and goals and can articulate all that you bring to the world, you will stand out in the crowd. You will be able to use this information to develop a presence and bring visibility to what you do. Knowing your value as an individual or company allows you to charge a premium for your service.

A couple of weeks ago a client asked me to help her develop her personal brand so that she could better articulate what she did for her internal customers within the corporation she worked for. After documenting her values, her greatest contributions, what distinguishes her and her abilities, she posted it on LinkedIn.  Within one week she got interview requests from two fortune 100 companies.  Not her intention, however, positioning herself this way made her unique, human and very attractive.

Think of yourself as more than a “lifeless” resume or job description and add a three dimensional (soul) view to who you are! Take a stand and tell the world what you value and what you are most passionate about. People are attracted to authenticity and honesty.  Your unique voice and the ability to share your gifts and talents will bring you success and resilience in an ever changing and unpredictable market place.

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