by Ken Troupe – February 2013
What does your Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook say about you?
A brand is “a type of product manufactured by a company under a particular name.” But what about your personal brand? It used to be only people like Dion Sanders, Oprah, or Martha Stewart needed to worry about their personal brands. But now, thanks or curses to social media, times have changed.
“Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand. Your reputation is your brand,” points out Colin Faulkner, VP of Ticket Sales and Service for the Chicago Cubs.
Your personal brand is just a click away. A ticket sales rep in San Diego can develop a relationship with a VP of Sales in New York via LinkedIn. A marketing manager in Seattle can help develop strategic plans for a team in Florida during a Twitter chat. The ease of digital communication makes it more important than ever to manage your personal brand and what it says about you.
Merrill Dubrow, CEO and President of MARC Research, says “Before I hire anyone, I Google a candidate’s name and do research with the single goal of determining their personal brand and does it fit within our company environment.”
What are your core beliefs? Personal goals?
With jobs and careers riding on it, you must decide how you want your personal brand to be represented based on your core beliefs and personal goals.
1) Core Beliefs – Define and understand your core beliefs. Core beliefs include (a) how you daily approach doing your job and (b) how you want your co-workers and clients to think of you. For example, when I first started selling, one of my main objectives was to “treat people the way I wanted to be treated.” I wanted to be honest and up-front with clients. What defines you?
2) Goals – Develop goals. Put thought into where you want to go and how to get there. Everyone has been told to write down goals. Do it. It helps. If your goals aren’t important enough to write down, they’re not very important. Write them and put them someplace where you’ll see them every day.
Where you want to be in one, three, and five years is your road map to your ultimate goals. Observe and talk to mentors who’ve been where you want to go. Go to Linked-In and see the paths and timetables of others in the position you seek.
Two Things I’ve Learned Along the Way
First, set lofty goals. I think Bo Jackson may be one of the best athletes I have ever seen play. Interviewed on a late night show (remember Arsenio Hall?), Bo said he always had the goal of playing in both Major League Baseball and the NFL. As he moved up the levels he was always told it was time to pick one. He said, “Why?” His goal was to play both, so that’s what he planned on doing. And Bo knew what he was talking about. Remember you cannot achieve great things without first setting lofty goals.
Second, goal-setting doesn’t mean you’ll get from point A to B in a straight line, but having clear goals let’s you know where you are on the road. Be ready for the curves, adapt as they come, and stay focused on your end game. Remember, “a goal without a plan is just a wish.” ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 – 1944)
Now that you have your core beliefs and goals down, you’re ready to work on establishing and extending your personal brand in the digital world. You can go ahead and be working ahead, but next month we’ll discuss how to set up your Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to fit your personal brand.
Special thanks to Jim Peacock for use of the Unique photo!