Written by Leonor Arguelles | Read time: 8 minutes
Professionals and entrepreneurs should actively manage their personal brand in order to be competitive and successful in their chosen field and business endeavors.
Think about your reputation, aspirations and your identity as a person and as a professional. The intersection of these aspects are essentially what you are known for and what people see you for. A crucial point is to align the image people have of you to where you are headed.
Setting goals is first and key to have a sense of where you are headed. By taking time to figure out your goals, you can build your re-imagined brand quality and find more meaning and success to your personal and professional life.
“A personal brand with action-filled goals accelerates you along your career path”, says Heather R. Huhman, career and workplace expert and founder of Come Recommended. It is time to give your brand an added boost — plan with action through BEST goals.
BEST goals can take your personal brand to the next level, be ready to push yourself to its potential. Inspire your very best brand by having Bold, Enriching, Supported and Targeted goals.
Bold – Go beyond your “safe goals”. Move out of your comfort zone by exceeding your own expectations. Be brave and maximize your brand potential by widening your boundaries.
Reputation management expert, Lida Citroen identified four ways to unleash your brand and kick off yourself to move out of your comfort zone – invite insights from colleagues, explore deeper connections with them, empower those around you, and lastly embrace risks.
May Busch, Executive Coach, Speaker and Advisor shared her success story of being the best version of her herself – from the “nice Chinese girl” to an “aspiring Vice President then COO” to a “successful entrepreneur.” She is thankful that she had an early corporate wakeup call to discover and correct a serious gap between her brand and her reputation. The answer is to say NO to be complacent. A strong personal brand is a work in progress, find ways to reframe it according to the end result you’re aiming for.
Today, as an entrepreneur, May is continuously creating a “virtuous cycle” of her brand. She pushed her business forward through trying out something new – her string of “firsts” such as webinar, book, speaking engagements, new clients, to name a few. Much of her work now is from word of mouth from people who seen her in action. She further stressed out, “Your personal brand is not something you develop once and then you’re set for life. Rather than treating it as a one-time inoculation, reassess it regularly and make sure it’s fit for purpose as you learn, grow and progress.”
Enriching – Strengthen your brand. Your goals should enhance your story. Create goals that are both valuable to your work as well as to your own personal brand.
Talent marketer & CEO of CredHive, Tracy Parsons looks at personal brand as the “sweet spot” of aspiration, perception and reality. Here are some insights from one of her blog posts that can help you to create goals and enrich your story – define your own sweet spot.
Begin by documenting your aspirations. Examine your finished work, projects and deliverables that you are most proud of.
Who I aspire to be?
What do I hope to accomplish professionally this year or in the next five years?
How can I deliver more value to achieve my goals?
She recommended to write and safe keep your answers to the questions above, revisit them often to make sure you’re aligned with your goals and aspirations. She suggested that it’s accepted to change your goals and adapt your aspirations as new things capture and fascinate you. Just make sure these changes are updated in your goals list.
Look at how you perceived yourself and how are you perceived by others – consistency is key. Be yourself, focus on your unique attributes, and find the right culture fit for your unique personality. These things will ensure your success.
Lastly, in the world you live in, “what are you known for?” Ensure you can back up your claim – ready specific examples of your work and stories to support what you say you’re best at.
Supported – Acquire a support system. Get added motivation from people who believe in your brand as well us people who has influence and connections to take you closer to your goals and eventually success. Here are some strategies from personal branding experts.
Define your target audience. According to Neil Patel and Aaron Agius, authors of the E-book, The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand, there are basically three people that fit into your personal brand’s target audience: The Person That Will Pay You, The Person That Influences the Person That Pays You, and Your Supporter.
Launch a career campaign strategy. Dorie Clark, marketing strategist, professional speaker and author of Reinventing You and Stand Out, identified concrete steps for pinpointing who can help you in your career campaign. First, draw a power map, using circles that show who has the most influence over your career—and, in turn, the people who have the most influence over them. Next, figure out what you can offer the influential people—expertise, assistance on a project, help with networking—and ways to cultivate unique knowledge or skills they’d find valuable. Finally, make a list of the groups you should join because they hold sway or will allow you to meet key contacts.
Build an intentional network. Lida Citroen, reputation management and personal branding expert defines intentional network as that group of contacts you specifically recruit, maintain, and nurture a relationship with to benefit from and with whom you will reciprocate. Intentional networks are win-win relationships based on rapport, trust, and mutual benefit.
There are three main categories of contacts you can include in your intentional network – decision makers (contacts who can provide you with direct leads, direct work, or bridge you to contacts who can), information sources (people who can provide valuable insight into companies, industries, trends, and people about whom you need); and cheerleaders (a peer, friend or colleague who provide references and testimonials and will vouch for you and your abilities when you need support).
She even has some great suggestions to help you gain more effective networks.
Maintain a “village of support.” Trevor Young, founder of PR Warrior defines “village of support” as more than your networks and random contacts, these are people with whom you have a deeper connection with because you’ve cultivated relationships with them; you’ve contributed value to their lives, relentlessly, over time – without the expectation of getting anything in return.
“The secret is you need to give in order to get back.” Trevor highlighted actions that you can do to start building your own village from today.
Targeted – Keep a deadline of what you have get out to do. If you want to reach your goals, get it done.
Lida Citroen, reputation management and personal branding expert wrote a month-by-month sample strategy to reinvent your brand this year. Consider the following quarterly activities:
January to March – Create your vision, define your legacy and desired brand.
April to June – Form your brand narrative and network around. Communicate your value to others.
July to September – Focus on yourself, consider how your image and body language supports your desired reputation.
October to December – Revisit your narrative and networking activities. Fine tune your approach towards another successful year, be grateful.
Your brand will reach its peak potential if you take time to challenge yourself, BEST goals take you one step further to success. Work on your bold, enriching, supported and targeted goals from today!