Whenever I tell someone that I am a personal brand coach and advisor, they seem to think that this is something they should work on when they are already successful. Somehow, personal branding is just for people already recognized as leaders, experts, or celebrities. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The people you see and admire today established themselves way before they had an audience of 10,000 followers.
- They did not build Rome in a day. It takes time to build an audience.
It takes time to build an engaged audience. Sure, you can buy followers through agencies that offer to make you an audience. But you want to connect to people who can do something for your career or business. And that takes time. People need to know, like, and trust you before considering recommending or giving you the project, role, or client you want.
- You want people to notice the fantastic things you are doing right now.
Because it’s going to take time to establish yourself, you want to be recognized for what you are doing now. That will help showcase your expertise for others to acknowledge and identify you for your unique talents. (Hint: you need to know what you want to be known for first!) You are already making an impact at your job or with your clients. But if no one else knows except you and maybe a handful of people, it’s time to start working on your brand today.
- Taking action on your brand now will push your career forward faster.
It starts with the little things. First, define who you want to be known as, i.e., THE Game App Expert or THE Fixer of Broken Widgets. Then communicate that message in a way that you can control the narrative of your career. Instead of waiting for others to FINALLY notice your work, control what people see, hear, and experience when they work with you. See your career as a vehicle, be the driver, and take your career as fast or as far as you want.
- Don’t miss opportunities simply because no one knows what you represent.
The worst thing is finding out you missed an opportunity because the decision maker didn’t know 1) that you wanted it or 2) that you are the bomb regarding this type of work. Establishing what you want and what skills you want to be known for makes it easy for others to see opportunities that would be perfect for you. They won’t hesitate to contact you because you have become the obvious choice.
Right now, make time to think about what you want to represent. What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room? Ask yourself how visible you want to be and how ambitious your dreams are.
More importantly, ask yourself, “What if?”