Use Personal Branding to Put Yourself Ahead of the Crowd
If you are a college grad or a seasoned professional like me, it is absolutely essential to have a personal brand. Don't panic if the task in creating one seems overwhelming.
I personally know colleagues who didn't discover their personal brand until their 50's or 60's. So don't worry if you don't get it straight away. It takes hard work to understand what your brand is.
I have been writing English language teaching materials, doing teacher training at university level, and teaching English at college level for over 30 years.
However, it is only within the last several years I've redefined myself as a specialist in writing about Business English. More specifically, I now specialize in creating online courses, soon to launch. My work helps non-native English speaking college grads get their ideal work.
What does personal branding mean?
Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands, such as names, products, or symbols. The objective is to distinguish yourself from others.
Large companies, such as Coca-Cola and Toyota, consider their brand name their most valuable asset. So you should consider your personal brand your most important asset too. I know I do.
Tom Peters, business thought leader, popularized the term personal branding in an article called "The Brand Called You" in a 1997 issue of Fast Company magazine.
In fact, the idea of personal branding goes back to the 1937 influential business best seller, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. This is a book you need to read, study and implement in your life.
How do you start to create a personal brand?
Tom Peters said, "Start by identifying the qualities or characteristics that make you distinctive from your competitors -- or your colleagues."
In addition, you have to know what specialized knowledge you have. Writing in the 1930's, Napoleon Hill realized the importance of specialized knowledge. He knew then that you need to have a niche; you need to be master of a domain. Today the need to have a speciality is just as important.
In his book Hill wrote, "First of all, decide the sort of specialized knowledge you require, and the purpose for which it is needed. To a large extent your major purpose in life, the goal toward which you are working, will help determine what knowledge you need."
If you don't have specialized knowledge, acquire it.
In another post, I'll give some personal branding tips. I'll also give you a neat personal branding strategy in a third post on the topic.
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