Personal Branding in the Workplace

23 August, 2013

Personal Branding in the WorkplaceA few days ago I had a fascinating discussion with a true corporate soldier about the concept and value of personal branding in the workplace. What came up – and what comes up most often in this line of conversation – is the perception (and fear) that personal branding is about ego, and banging your own drum. The truth is it’s not about being self-absorbed. It’s not about indulging in self-promotion, or showing off, or any negative description we may choose to give it. True personal branding is about becoming conscious: conscious of your words, your actions, your value and most importantly, your promise.

For example, when you choose Nike over Adidas you do so because of the perceived value that you will get from that particular brand, whether it’s design, status or style. Now ask yourself: what is the value that people get when they engage with you that they don’t get anywhere else? You have to know makes you special, different and better.

Let’s take a look at a framework for answering this question:

What’s important to you?

  1. Why do you do what you do?
  2. What do you spend your money on?
  3. What/who do you surround yourself with?
  4. Where does your mind go when it wanders?
  5. If you had to teach something, what would that be?
  6. How do your friends/colleagues describe you?

 What benefits do these bring?

Under which circumstances are you the go-to person in the group? For example:

  1. As a high-energy go-getter, you always deliver your work on time, every time. Benefit? You’re trustworthy and reliable.
  2. Or if you’re deliberative by nature, you’re the person that can identify possible pitfalls down the road and can prepare the team for the obstacles others might not see. You have naturally good judgment, and the team saves time and headaches by having you around.

Get the picture? So now it’s up to you. Based on who you are, what benefits do you bring to the table? If you get stuck, ask your peers, colleagues, and superiors for their input. As much as you’re squirming at the thought, they often have clarity of thinking that is far superior your own when it comes to self-reflection.

How do you describe you?

What’s the one thing you want people to know about you? All too often we’re tempted to try and communicate everything about ourselves for fear of missing out. But think of it like this: if I threw a tennis ball to you, you’re likely to catch it. If I threw 10 tennis balls to you, you’re likely to miss them all. Like corporate brands, we need a single-minded message: what’s yours?

Who do you best serve?

Identify the people of influence in your customer group, among your co-workers and shareholders. Make a list of all the people you want to get to know and have them know you. Then ask yourself what you can do to improve your rapport and relevance with these people.

Whatever you bring to the workplace, you bring as yourself. Sounds silly I know, but no matter what you are doing – being the spokesperson for the team; representing the company in a media interview, or having a one on one discussion with a client – you’re doing it not as someone from the company, but as your personal brand.

In our next blog post we’ll be looking at how to communicate your value and relevance to your target group. In the words of Dr John Demartini:

“Nobody else gets up in the morning to sell you. The only person on earth with that responsibility is you. And until you value yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to.”



Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.