Thursday, May 19, 2016

How to Take a Step by Step Approach to Standing Out

As you’ve been reading my news blog for a while you know that my approach to personal branding is about professional image, presentation skills and presence as well as personal PR. Some would say – soft skills. But I believe that standing out is not a soft skill and it’s important for all professionals to step outside their role and look at ways to build their personal brand and be noticed. 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 mentor and help clients devise a strategy for brand exposure but it is about personal positioning and self-branding. However, I still 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 to reinvent, a new job, set up you own business, get a promotion? Determine exactly what it is you’re wanting to achieve.You understand goal setting and it’s the same with your personal PR 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 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 expert – I’d have to start somewhere. So a detailed objective could be to speak at 10 networking groups by end of 2016 and gain 200 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?  There are also influencers you need to include. So if it is in-house bosses you might include industry personnel, contractors, suppliers or co-workers. The media would be on this list if it was your own business. After all the media (social and mainstream) is one of the strongest influencers and will help get to your target market.  So who is your public that you need to build a relationship with? Using my objective above it could be high achieving entrepreneurs and business owners with influencers being media.

WHY you?

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 to 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 interest and understanding of image and style) and my many years’ experience as a public relations professional. To Shine (me and you) is my philosophy.


Last week I shared a number of key tactics to self-marketing (read more below) you could incorporate to grow your personal or business brand. 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?

The very basic first step is to ensure you have a solid LinkedIn profile and photograph. I will cover this in more detail in my next blog along with a number of other ways for you to stand out through personal PR and brand strategies.

Want to know more now. Download my free eBook The Power of Personal Public Relations

Read last week’s blog Seven Key Tactics of Self-Marketing

Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist providing solutions to business owners and organisations to boost their image, renown, brand and business. She is the founder of Shine Academy™, providing education and professional development training and the creator of the Shine Personal Branding System™ a process she uses to help executives and entrepreneurs position their professional brand and present themselves with impact and influence. Through speaking, corporate workshops, and consulting, Sue helps businesses and individuals to stand out and shine.


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