Professional Branding

This is my wedding gift from my wife. Nice, huh?

Did you ever wonder why you aren’t the one getting that promotion?

Or why it’s difficult for you to move up in your career while others seem to have no problem?

It’s not your performance. You would know that right away.

So why can’t others see you as the leader you know you are?

You have a branding problem. People aren’t exposed to a clear image of you.

If you get that, and just want to get started then contact me.

Personal branding is key to the next generation of leaders – it’s not just for politicians and CEOs. And I’m not the only one that thinks this way – check out what Forbes, Huff Post and Wall Street Journal say about personal branding.

Personal branding can be broken down into three categories: Performance, Image and Exposure.

Performance is what you do every day – your performance is still the foundation of your career.

Image is what others think of you. Don’t confuse this with what you think of yourself.

Exposure can be summed up easily as do people know you and do they know what you do. Unfortunately, most people don’t believe that this is important.

Most people believe you should spend the majority of your time on performance but really it should be 10%.

Very few people don’t even consider their image and most ridicule exposure as self-promotion but then get upset when people don’t know who they are and what they do.

You should be spending 30% of your branding time on crafting your image and 60% on exposure (especially when you are starting out).

Most people I know think personal branding is a joke. Like The Onion.

Why do they think it’s a joke?

Because most people aren’t taught to be leaders. They are taught to stay in line, sit at your desk, keep your head down and do the work. You’ll be rewarded follow these directions.

But their rewards don’t seem to translating into leadership positions.

I believe that leaders aren’t born with some inherent trait that you don’t have.

I wasn’t a leader growing up.

In fact, I was born in a small farming community in Missouri. Living in a trailer. With an alcoholic father and an overworked mother just trying to keep the family together.

I believed that almost every person I came into contact with was better than I was. This constant comparison killed my self-esteem.

While this story has all the makings for the cliched self-made man story, it wasn’t until I figured out that I could use the same branding techniques I used for companies on myself.

I could manipulate my personal brand so that people believed that I could lead them. That I was worthy of that next promotion.

Once I made this realization – that I could get people to believe in “branded” me – and started to consciously brand myself, things moved fast.

I got promotions, leadership positions, speaking opportunities and more financial security.

But that was me and not you.

I know you are thinking that “I don’t have a brand”.

You do and it’s already up and running.

You are shaping your brand all the time.

You are forming it whether you are in a board meeting or chatting with a co-worker.

It’s in how you shake hands in church or dealing with a conflict with an online company.

When you have a chance to interact with others in public, you are potentially building or destroying your brand.

And if you are conscious of your brand, then you’ll most likely be doing the former and not the latter.

I believe that there are two big benefits from building a personal brand:

  1. You’ll be noticed and rewarded
  2. Decision making becomes easy

Because so few people understand how to brand, being noticed can happen pretty quickly if you are consistent and clear with your messaging.

Many people don’t acknowledge the second benefit. Every decision can help or hurt your brand. You will get better at making decisions when you have your brand in mind.

So are you ready to build your personal brand?

This is where I can help you.

As your personal branding coach, I can help you define your personal brand statement and construct a brand strategy.

You’ll learn how to use social media tools to help you execute your strategy and expand your brand.

Are you ready to get started? Contact me at don.schindler (at) know and we’ll work out a personal plan for you.

Not completely bought in yet?  Then sign up for my free newsletter on personal branding and social media training.  Or you can follow me on twitter, linkedin or facebook.