Four keys to a Personal Brand

Sarah Moyes
Four keys to a Personal Brand

Women struggling to move up the corporate ladder may need to give their image a revamp.

Creating a personal brand is becoming essential to get ahead in business today and women can particularly benefit as their presence is still growing in the corporate world.

Ilume director Raechel Ford is a personal brand coach who works one on one with people to help them market themselves.

As a result of creating a personal brand, Ford says women learn to be more assertive in business roles, create more opportunities for themselves and build stronger networks.

“We are on a journey of change for women in business and I would think personal branding is one of those things to speed that change up,” Raechel said.

That point has been underlined internationally and with the growing number of women looking to develop a personal brand for career advancement, some of the advice has been to simply be yourself.

AUT University Senior Lecturer in Advertising Dr Martin Waiguny says the purpose of a brand is to create a mental image that other people will recognise.

“A personal brand makes you distinct from others.”

Martin Waiguny Personal Brand resized new

Dr Martin Waiguny - AUT University Senior Lecturer in Advertising

He adds that it is about a person’s style of work, the way in which they work, as well as their physical appearance and clothing style. It is about creating an association that will be remembered by others.

The perfect time to create a personal brand is when you are already in a job. Waiguny suggests working on your brand as you start to move up the corporate ladder, then you have more of an idea of how you would like to be seen.

One of the best ways to market yourself is through social media, this is known as impression management.

“You’re managing an impression people have of you.”

Waiguny says social media can be very detrimental if you don’t use it carefully.

Everything you post on any social media site should be in line with your personal brand, this includes what you like and recommend, what you re-tweet and all the content you share including photos and videos.

Ford describes the process of creating a personal brand as repackaging a person.

“Everyone can benefit from understanding themselves better, to want to know if they are being their best,” she says.

Four tips to creating a strong personal brand:

-  What does your image say about you? Your personal brand comes down to the way you present yourself. Martin Waiguny recommends you look for something that strengthens your image. If you have an outgoing personality dress brightly or wear something that you become known for e.g. bright socks or funky glasses.

-  How well do you communicate? Raechel Ford works with clients on their tone of voice, the way they articulate themselves and teaches them to be able to communicate better. This is particularly helpful for women as they grow their presence in the workplace.

-  Do you know what you want? Before you can communicate what it is that you have to offer a company, a higher position or a client, you must know what it is that YOU want. You need to identify the values that you operate by and then you can build your ‘authentic self’ – your personal brand which is authentic to you.

-  How can social media help? A presence on social media is becoming vital for a strong personal brand. You can hire a consultant to manage the way you express yourself over the Internet. Use the content you post on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram to build up your personal brand.

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