What is it about standing out that makes most people shudder. The thought of being boastful, or seeking fame, or showing arrogance? It could be these thoughts or just fear poking its head through and holding us back from being seen and building your personal brand.
It does take confidence to be more visible but you don’t have to be “showy”. Whether you are an introvert or extrovert you need to put aside fear and express yourself to engage your audience and be a voice that people listen to.
Most of this fear is imaginary. We think we’re not good enough, or feel like an imposter, we’re being judged by others and the list goes on. This can be an obstacle to putting yourself forward for a speaking opportunity or expressing your opinion in a meeting or showcasing your expertise on video.
To grow as a business leader or entrepreneur I believe that it is important to step outside your role and look at ways to build your personal brand and be noticed. It’s not about being grandiose and shouting from the rooftops about how great you are. But if people don’t know who you are and what you do, how can you help them?
I know that you are busy doing what you do and saying, “I don’t have time to focus on promoting myself.” Think of the alternative.
As a former public relations consultant, I worked with clients to implement a step-by-step PR plan to gain exposure and attention for their brand and business. These days I guide people to build reputation through their professional presence incorporating image, presentation skills and other personal brand strategies. I help clients with their visual communication, communication message and visibility through my workshops and 1-1 coaching.
I take my clients through a step-by-step approach to standing out. Here is how I do it.
WHAT do you want to be known for?
First step is to look at the big picture, your work aspirations and the goal you want to achieve. You need to establish a clear, articulated vision of your future. Do you want a new job, set up you own business, get a promotion or just be recognised for the value you bring to your role?
Determine exactly what it is you’re wanting to achieve. You understand goal setting and it’s the same with your personal brand plan. If you articulate what you’re after you’re more likely to achieve it.
You might have a big picture vision of being Female Entrepreneur of the Year within 5 years and currently you are a marketing manager. What steps would you need to take to get there? And be smart about it. That is specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and timely. you need to write a detailed statement of what it is you really want to achieve.
As an example if my big picture goal was to be known as Australia’s leading personal brand and image management expert – I’d have to start somewhere. So a detailed objective could be to speak at 10 networking groups by June of 2024 and gain 1,000 new subscribers to my newsletter.
WHO is your audience?
Who do you need to communicate with? Identify your target market. Define who it really is you need to appeal to. Are they your bosses, potential employers or clients? Be specific and clarify that one person who embodies your audience.
There are also influencers you need to include. If it is in-house bosses you might include industry personnel, contractors, suppliers or co-workers.
Media need to be on this list if it is your own business. After all the media (social and mainstream) is one of the strongest influencers and will help get to your target market. Who is your public that you need to build a relationship with?
Using my objective above it could be high achieving female entrepreneurs and business owners; with influencers being media target of women’s magazines.
What is it about you that helps you stand out and be noticed? Do you have a niche or a specialty? What USP – unique shining point can you identify?
Maybe you are just very good at what you do, you have the background, experience and credentials. Can you articulate that and find the core strengths of your brand; something that could give you an edge, that you can grow into and could over time own more completely.
Again, putting myself in the spotlight here – my USP might simply be my background and experience having worked as a model when I was younger (hence the passion and understanding of image and style) and my many years’ experience and credentials as a public relations professional. To Shine (for me and to help you) is my philosophy.
Recognise that you are a specialist in your field and can harness self marketing and credible communication as resources for your success.
How are you going to be noticed? In previous blogs I have shared a number of key tactics to self-marketing you could incorporate to grow your personal or business brand. Read Marketing Your Magic to Shine.
Let’s just for a moment concentrate on you and your own personal brand. Again so much to do and so little time. You are a professional working in a business environment. What method is going to help you get in front of your target market? How you are going to reach your public with your clear message.
Use these strategies to Incorporate an action plan and go to the next level of professional presence.
In my regular blog I cover ways for you to stand out through personal branding strategies. If you would like to receive this information straight into your inbox, Then download my free video series, NOOK, LOOK, HOOK 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of image management services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.