Everyone knows about Coca-Cola, Apple, and McDonald’s brand but if people described your brand what would they say? Will people unanimously answer vigorously that you are awesome to work with and deliver or will there be a lukewarm or maybe negative response. Today a person’s brand is more complicated and important than ever — we have a global marketplace where people have small attention spans.
Building a brand is not easy and takes work and is not done in isolation. You build your brand by your actions, words, company kept, organizations you are part of, and many more things. In today’s information age workers should consciously start building their brand by:
- Be a person that delivers: I will always continue to hire a person that has a reputation of and is focused on delivering results. As a manager this is what you want because it reduces uncertainty. The key to being a person that delivers is understanding your capabilities and bandwidth. Don’t make promises you can’t deliver and always slightly over deliver. Help guide managers into developing expectations where you can consistently over deliver.
- Be a problem solver: Good information workers must be good self-driven problem solvers. Often times you will get bogged down with projects and deadlines but investing some time in problem solving will help you, your team, your department, and your company. Invest the extra time here because it will pay off but make sure you take credit for it in a tactful way.
- Be a person with integrity: A person driven on doing what is right and doing it with integrity will always have a solid brand. People will trust you, ask your opinion, and share information with you. It is important that you uphold this trust and be driven by what is right. Do not put yourself in a situation that would compromise this brand and if you realize you are in a situation then getting out of that situation is essential.
- Be a thought leader: Thought leadership takes less than you think. Everyone can demonstrate this as an information worker. Pick an area that interests you and is relevant to your career whether it is denial of service attacks if you work in information security or Google search engine optimization for online retailers. There are many ways to do this especially in the virtual world like blogging on a subject, tweeting actively on a subject, or participating in online groups. There are also many good professional associations or physical journals where you can participate. Remember that becoming a thought leader requires investment in time and should be something that is a long horizon but rewards can happen pretty quickly. But more importantly, you should enjoy learning and educating others about your thought leadership if you are going to be successful.
These are key attributes that if you are lucky will define your brand but there are many things other things, positive and negative, that make up your brand. Understanding yourself and your brand and continually building that brand will make your career and life more successful. This self-brand understanding requires the input of trusted and honest friends and colleagues. Ask the hard questions and make sure your brand is increasing and course correct as needed based on feedback.
As always appreciate your feedback, emails, comments, likes, and re-tweets!