On April 9th, Co-Communications President and CEO, Stacey Cohen, moderated a lively discussion on personal branding for the Connecticut Valley Chapter of PRSA (PRSA-CVC). As Stacey pointed out in her opening remarks, personal branding isn’t just for college students looking to secure a job after graduation. Personal branding is a lifelong process and a constant evolution.
Joined by panelists Cathy Crosky, Executive Coach, Charter Oak Consulting Group; Susan Rietano Davey, Principal and Co-Director of Flexible Resources – Central CT Branch; and Andrea Obston, President, Andrea Obston Marketing Communications, Stacey and the ‘Branding You’ team took attendees through a bottom-up approach to personal branding, starting with the foundational attributes of a personal brand and wrapping-up with the tools available to market and reinforce one’s personal brand. The following are key highlights from the workshop:
- – Strong brands are intentional. Start by defining yourself.
- – Practice self-scrutiny. What do you do well? What do you love to do? Tip: analyzing the common messages and themes from past performance reviews can help with answering the first question.
- – Focus on creating ‘raving fans’ throughout your career.
- – Reputation management starts with your online brand. Fill out your LinkedIn profile completely and make sure it mirrors your résumé.
- – Avoid tailoring your brand too much to the audience. This can ultimately water down your brand. As noted in the first tip, strong brands are intentional.
- – Know how to work a room. Networking is face-to-face marketing.
- – Don’t focus on how many people you meet networking – focus on meeting the right people. Building relationships is the core of effective networking and you need a strategy for doing so.
- – Ensure your LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are up-to-date.
- – Be self-aware. Seek out feedback.
- – Ensure your brand is not only clearly articulated, but also that you know how to deliver on your brand and how to make it grow.
- – Observe your flaws and consciously and proactively work to correct them.
- – Don’t hide your shortcomings. Just because a prospective employer or business partner didn’t ask about them, doesn’t mean they didn’t notice them.
Personal branding is a lifelong process for everyone from students to retirees. As you work to hone your personal brand and define value proposition you bring to current and prospective employers, focus on maintaining a consistent and transparent brand that can grow and evolve with both your passions and career(s).
For more tips on personal branding, check out Stacey’s recent article in Westchester County Business Journal.