The 13 Most Important Key Elements of Your Personal Brand

Next week, I’m teaching two workshops at The University of Portland on personal branding as it relates to you AND your organization.  

I hope you can make it, but if you can’t here are 13 KEY elements you should consider when branding yourself for a job hunt, a career move or a leadership role:

Personality and Style

Your personality and style are very important when it comes to telling your story or positioning yourself online or offline. Don’t know yourself very well? Then get to work. Take a Myer’s Briggs Assessment, ask what words your friends would use to describe you, and pay attention to how you show up in the world. 

Values

Your values are the beliefs you hold near and dear. For example, do you prefer to nurture relationships with others or are you more concerned with saving the environment? Do you value spirituality? Are you drawn to creative acts of work? Write down your top five values. If you need some help, email me and I'll be glad to send you the values assessment I use with my clients. 

Strengths

Knowing your strengths is a crucial factor when positioning yourself to do anything as it relates to your career. Take a StrengthsFinder assessment, or write down what you believe your top five strengths are then use these words in your language online and offline about yourself. 

Experience

Your life experience is just as important as any skill you trained for. If you’ve raised children or taken a year off to travel, this is can be a HUGE selling point for the right opportunity that values and desires your unique experiences. 

Accomplishments

Accomplishments include everything from solving a tough problem or situation for a previous employer, to getting a Master’s degree or certificate, or winning an award. Write down your key accomplishments. 

Goals

What are your life goals? What are your career goals? Knowing them will go a long way towards clarifying your personal brand and presenting yourself in a way that strategically meets your goals. 

Keywords and Phrases

Write down the top 10 keywords or phrases that you think capture the essence of YOU and the opportunity you are seeking. If you feel stuck, search online for jobs that interest you and then paste them into jobscan.co to get a analysis of the top keywords used in that job description. Consider using these keywords in the messages you craft about your personal brand, if they resonate. 

Stories

You have stories. I know you do. What stories do you tell others to give them an idea of who you are? Write down these stories and practice telling them until you can get them out succinctly and clearly in less than a minute (remember, our attention spans are super short!)

Key Messages

Now that you know your values, your strengths, your keywords, your goals, your experience and your personality, craft three to five key messages to use in conversations with your target audience (whoever holds the key to your new opportunity). Use these key messages online, in person, over email and in your profiles to keep your personal brand consistent and on target. 

LinkedIn Profile

Upload a photo to your LinkedIn profile that fits your personal brand and the opportunity you are positioning yourself for. Write a succinct headline that matches your personal brand and your objectives. Finally, craft a one to three paragraph summary about yourself that encompasses the personal brand elements we’ve discussed so far. 

Social Media Accounts

Your social media accounts are important platforms to strategically brand yourself. Make sure that your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Tumblr and Periscope accounts are all consistent with your personal branding goals and objectives. 

Personal Website

You don’t need a personal website to brand yourself effectively, but it can be a great way to own the content that people read about you online. With a website, you can upload your resume, white papers, reports, projects and portfolio pieces to demonstrate your awesomeness. 

Business Cards

Last but not least, don’t forget the business cards. You need them, period. If your company doesn’t provide a card or you’re currently unemployed, go to Vista Print and use their free templates and free offer to create business cards. Make sure to take them with you everywhere you go and hand them out to anyone you meet (unless you’re on a date, that might be weird). 

Okay, this is just a taste of what I’ll be covering next week so if this sounds like what you need, I hope you’ll join me!