Personal Branding – Linked In Profiles, CVs and More…

Words Cloud 02/01-08/02 2009

More and more people have been asking about their Linked In/ Xing profile, website personal bio or their CV.

The digital space has opened up a whole new world for recruitment, job-seekers and the self-employed.  They want to stand out.   For potential opportunities, to raise their profile or just to plain old find their voice.

Self-promotion has always been around, just in different guises.  But now with social media platforms galore, the opportunity to show who you are and what you are about is immense.  It’s pretty simple too – you just need to remember one thing.

Every person is a brand.

Sorry – I’m not saying everyone is a thing and not a person.  But when it comes to standing out for what is unique about you – you’re a brand.  Because brands are people too.  They have a personality, something to offer and when they’re really great at telling you about it, you remember them.  These days, they call it personal branding.

Define your personal brand.

Here comes the science part.  Before you start telling anyone anything, be it on a CV, Linked In, Xing, your business website or elsewhere, you need to be clear about what you are saying.

  • Things to think about are
  • Who am I?  What have I done professionally to get where I am now?
  • What is important to me?
  • What have I achieved?
  • Most importantly – What am I trying to achieve right now?  Therefore – Who is my audience?
  • Critically – What would they want or need to hear about me?  How would it help them in their jobs or businesses, therefore help me?

Communicate your personal brand.

Next step.  How does who you are define how you communicate?  Completely, utterly, totally.  If you’re a great communicator (slightly overused and low value term by the way), then you wouldn’t waffle a long paragraph about it.

The first thing you would do is go back to your brand.  Who are you?  Why are you a great communicator?  So, it’s because people listen to what you have to say.  You’re an engaging presenter, or visionary leader who brings people into the story, creates momentum and evokes response.

How do you know that?  They told you.  They ask you to go over every high value pitch the business puts out.  They ask you to present it.  Your team comes into work every morning with their eyes alight with anticipation of what’s next.

Whatever it is, there’s always an easy way to say it.  Without saying too much.  You just need to define how ‘you’ as a ‘brand’ communicate.  That’s your brand personality – like your real personality, except more focused and no need to share any weird habits or cringe-worthy lines about being ‘partial to a glass of champers or mountain hike on a sunny weekend’.

Ditch the stereotypes.

So.

  • Think about the three most important themes you want to tell people about you
  • Think about your target audience.  As I said, is this what they need to know about you?  What will it add to them?  How can you help them with their jobs or business?
  • Think about how you can communicate your core message in a straightforward way through your chosen channel (Linked In, Xing, CV etc)
    • Words
    • Visuals
    • Results and outcomes

Back to ‘show don’t tell‘ and ‘less is more‘.  If you’re writing something yourself; edit, edit and edit again.  Then ask someone else to edit – preferably someone who understands your audience.  Then edit again.

Last, but by no means least, leave it a week or two.  Then read it.  Like you don’t know yourself.  Put yourself in your audience’s shoes.  And think – what would I think if I were them?  People aren’t that different – if you know your audience and yourself well enough, you will know how they think.

If your message is controversial, different, new or a little creative; stay true to it.  You might tailor your words, but never tailor your true message.  That would be creeping back into the realms of all talk, nothing behind it.

Live your personal brand.

This is the easy bit.  Humans have a great radar for hot air and our patience towards it is wearing a little thin.

If you’re honest with yourself, clear about who you are and what is important to you; all you have to do is be yourself.  We’d all like a good excuse to do that a bit more often.

  • It doesn’t take any energy
  • You don’t have to live up to anything
  • People will approach you

Being genuine pays in so many ways.

You can connect with me on LinkedIn to find out a bit more about brand Me.  I’m looking forward to finding out a bit more about brand You.

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About lifeinzuri
Thirty-something Englanderin copywriter and business owner in Zurich ... Blogging about life, love, language barriers and small business on the best journey of my life :)

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