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Managing Your Personal Brand

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In a reply to my previous post about the advantages of an employee adopting the mindset of an independent consultant, commenter Conrad Harrison said:

In terms of going fully independent you have to go beyond the profession. Whilst people are seeking you out on the basis of profession, then anyone in the profession will do and can replace you. They have to be seeking you out: recognizing your uniqueness. That added value that only you can provide.

Your uniqueness, this differentiating characteristic, is perhaps the most important part of your professional reputation, your brand.

And you do have a brand. It might be good or it might be not so good. It might be very crisp or it might be fuzzy. It might be consistent or it might be ambiguous. It might be helping you or it might be hurting you. Whatever it is, your brand tells people what they should expect from you.

Here are a few considerations I view as most important in managing the "Jim De Piante" brand, along with tips for cultivating your own brand:

Little things matter. Every interaction with other people contributes to your brand. Often, it's a seemingly small thing, such as promptly returning a call, that can leave a lasting impression.

Quality matters. As in all things related to reputation, it can take a long time to build a good brand, but you can destroy it very quickly. People talk about you. They talk about your work. You want to be sure they're only saying positive things.

Consistency matters. When people think or talk about you, you want them to remember, think and say you can be counted on to do certain things a certain way.

Whether you're an employee or an independent consultant, the project you're working on is going to end. Then what? Who will seek you out and why?

I'd be interested to hear how you manage your personal brand.

Read more from Jim De Piante.

 

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5 Comments

Hi Jim, excellent article.

You make some excellent points regarding managing how people perceive you as an individual. It's extremely important that you go that extra mile and over-deliver for clients.

I find if a client believes they are getting a quality service and good value for money that person is the best advertisement money can buy. Referrals are undoubtedly the best sort of leads and each happy customer is a potential referral generator so keeping them happy is not to be underestimated!

Manage a personal brand is important for everybody, because according to that, we will be judged. I use to act the best way possible anywhere I go, so people will remember me as a good person in personal and professional life.

Great article, thanks for sharing with us :)

Great article, it helped me in managing my projects more efficiently and I understand how important very small things are in business.
Thanks.

It's interesting how often people don't consider that they, themselves, have a brand image to worry about.

Perhaps those who have a guaranteed job for life don't need to worry about it, but even within larger consulting companies, whether you get the juicy assignments or the garbage scow depends upon the reputation (your personal brand) you have built over the years.

- Steve
http://Twitter.com/GanttGuru

In my case, social networks and blogs create and spread content. This type of content Marketing helps because I want to be known as an expert in my field.

So I agree with you: Quality, Consistency and interaction are really important.

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