Building a Personal Brand in Trying Times
Building a personal brand allows you to be the go-to person in many situations. While some people see the benefit of flying under the radar, people who seek to build a strong brand are saying that they want to be known as a thought leader, the person to approach if you need something done. Being that person has many benefits, but it doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen by accident.
Expand Your Knowledge Base
What differentiates you from your peers? There has to be something there that makes you be the person who answers questions, offers input, and provides counsel. Take an active role in your education. Look at areas where you are strong, and develop a niche. Dive deep into these areas so you become the natural choice when people are looking for answers.
What about the areas where you are weak? Seek out ways to strengthen yourself. Spend time on your own improving yourself. Don’t expect it to happen organically. Take a harsh look at your weak areas and set out a plan to strengthen them. Whether it is a soft skill such as interacting with others or a hard skill like mastering a particular piece of software, there is always something to improve.
Be Ready to Say ‘Yes’
Opportunities often come without much warning. Arrange your life so that you can seize the opportunities that make sense to you as they develop. One way you can do this is by positioning yourself to have a lifestyle that allows flexibility. This means not succumbing to lifestyle creep. As you make more money, it can be tempting to adjust to a more expensive lifestyle. Keep your finances under control so you are not shackled to a particular job. Take a hard look at monthly payments such as your college loans. Refinancing your student loans when interest rates drop provides financial freedom in a few ways. It lowers your monthly payments, which can free up more available cash, while also allowing you to pay less in interest.
To build a strong personal brand you need to be prepared to speak out. False modesty gets you nowhere. Of course, when you commit to speaking out it is important to have something of value to add. If you are asked to speak at a conference, lead a discussion, or otherwise be responsible for a presentation, preparation is key. Provide added value to anything you do. You want people to come away from anything you are involved with the feeling that they are better for it.
It is easy to think of personal branding as something you do for yourself, to advance your goals or career. If you use that method to build a brand, you won’t go far. Building a personal brand on a foundation that boosts others, enhances value, and offers benefits will build loyalty and keep others coming back for more. You can only do this by continually working to improve yourself, building a niche of expertise while eliminating weaknesses.