A personal brand is the perception a person has of you. Rather than the overall perception of a company, a personal brand is specific to you as an employee of your company. The reason for the elevation of personal branding has to do with the digital capabilities of social media and the ease of building a personal business network that spans geographies. The better you establish your personal brand, the more opportunities you bring to your company.
What ingredients make a personal brand?
A brand is simply the total experience people have when interacting with a company. What people feel and experience when they interact with a product or service makes its brand. Therefore, a personal brand is made from
Your interactions with others in your professional life are what create your personal brand. Interactions have a specific manner, energy, and frequency. The manner, energy, and frequency of your interactions contribute to what others experience.
As others interact with you, they take away an experience. That experience can range from inspiration to boredom, intimidation to warmth, energized to deflated. How others experience you elicits emotion.
How people feel is a major factor in the decisions they make and how they orient their life. When you interact with others you give them an experience and that experience contributes to their emotions. Those emotions are then connected to you and your personal brand.
To know your personal brand requires you to understand how your interactions are experienced by others and how those experiences make them feel.
Why is personal brand important?
Brands build on each other. Professional engineering has a brand. Civil Engineering has a brand. Civil engineering firms have a brand. And each professional engineer has a personal brand. Therefore, your personal interactions give clients an experience. Those clients attribute how that experience makes them feel to you, your company, and your profession. As you can imagine, how you craft your personal brand not only affects you, but also affects your firm and the entire profession.
Realize that every engineer has a personal brand. Ignoring a personal brand does not make it disappear. It does not become irrelevant because you simply do not care. What clients experience and feel when working with you matters. It matters greatly! A personal brand is important for many reasons. Chief among those reasons is the contribution or deficit you create for your firm and your profession.
If you consider your personal brand and intentionally work on the impact you are making on your clients, your colleagues, and society, the greater personal benefit you will enjoy. Here are some questions upon which to reflect to help you establish a positive personal brand;
This post was originally published at Personal Brand: What Is It and Why Is It Important? (engineeringmanagementinstitute.org)
Gabe Lett, FSMPS, CPSM, LPC