Here are a few ideas that I shared in a recent St. Louis personal branding session at Product Camp St. Louis 2016. In thinking about personal branding, I talked about how important it is to be clear about who you are and what you have to offer. This can be difficult for some people, as they’re not sure what makes them different.
So what can you do about that to gain that clarity? One thing that you can do is to solicit client feedback about why they hired you. You could ask, “What was it about what I did for you?” and “What value did you get from hiring me?”
This can give you insights into the core of what you do and how you do it differently than other people.
This concept resonated with many of the attendees, who were looking for guidance on this issue.
One person said, “I was interested to learn to be reminded about being clear, focusing figuring out how to find out my brand by asking others and asking myself questions. The hard part is to go out and do it!” Another person said, “It was interesting to think about how to be clear about your brand–to go and do the work of finding out what you have to offer.” by talking about how he likes to connect people he can really differentiate himself as a connector it takes them out of the realm of just yet another customer service rep and puts him into another realm
One of the things that we talked about in this personal branding session at Product Camp St. Louis 2016 was the idea of thinking about how you do something separately from what you do. Everyone always asks, “How can I differentiate myself?” One person asked about how they could differentiate themselves as a customer service rep. They talked about how they liked connecting people with others to solve problems. I replied, “But that’s exactly what’s different about you. You don’t need to spend time talking about the fact that you are a great customer service rep. You need to spend time talking about your passion for connecting people with others. That’s a big differentiator. There are literally millions of service reps customer service reps in the world, but not everyone approaches the job and the task in the same way so focusing more on how you do something can help set you apart and convey how you are unique and different from everyone else who may be applying for a job or vying for a promotion.”
One of the other concepts that I talked about was the idea of leadership. I asked the question, “What kind of a leader are you?” One person in the audience stated that they were struggling with how to differentiate themselves. I asked him to think about what drives him crazy—is he passionate about excellence in delivering services, or high quality product, or collaboration and teamwork. The things that irk us are clues to the passions we have (and therefore, what makes us unique).
That resonated with some of the other attendees. On the feedback sheet, I asked what was most interesting and someone wrote, “The question, ’what kind of a leader are you? What drives you crazy?’ I have to look deeper into that and what that unveils.”
I love hearing what people get out of our discussions and will continue to advocate for everyone to actively manage their personal brands!