Do you have a LinkedIn presence? I am sure that most of you will answer affirmatively. Let me ask you again, do you have a LinkedIn PRESENCE? Before you rubbish it as a foolish question, give a good thought. I am not asking if you have updated your personal and professional details on LinkedIn. Neither am I asking you if relevant people follow you nor if you have enough endorsements for your skills. While these elements are important, what I am trying to ask you is, how does the LinkedIn community know you? Is it because of your designation / qualification? Or is it because of your contributions in the LinkedIn ecosystem?
Profile vs. Presence
How many Indians will be unaware of Cadbury? Not many, I am sure. But, how many of us know that Cadbury is now a subsidiary of Mondelez International Inc. and is known as Mondelez India Foods Limited? Only those who have taken the trouble to read about it. The rest of us still remember Cadbury for the happy-chocolaty moment or the girl dancing on a cricket field when her favorite batsman hits a six to reach a score of a 100+.
Now, Cadbury has gone through a lot of mergers and acquisitions, but it never allowed its branding to get affected. People still associate with Cadbury the way the brand wants them to associate with it and buy the chocolates.
You might be thinking, I was talking about LinkedIn profiles and presence. How does this story fit in? Well it does. If I can draw an analogy, then
- The Cadbury website is the equivalent of your LinkedIn profile.
- The branding activities done by company form its Presence.
Some questions to ponder
- How do your colleagues perceive you?
- Are the competitor companies aware of your presence?
- Are you adding value to the industry space that you operate in?
- Do you spend time on the social media platforms, like LinkedIn, understanding the developments in your area of work and contribute your two cents?
If you have never thought about these questions before, then chances are, that you haven’t approached your Personal Brand in a planned manner.
Any product launched in the market has a brand image, similarly every professional who starts working, has a Personal Brand image. If you don’t manage your personal branding, then you are leaving it open for people to create & perceive.
If I have to put it simply, Personal Branding is a way to market yourself as a professional and improve the relationships with your colleagues, managers and prospective employers. The moment you start considering yourself to be a brand, you will start focusing on how you are being viewed by people. Having this knowledge can help you improve your image and re-direct people to view those aspects of you that you want to highlight.
Let me give you an example:
If you are a Marketing professional, then expecting people to recognize you for generic marketing skills can be a near-impossible task. But, if you sit down and understand your niche, you get an opportunity to magnify your skills and present yourself as a thought leader in the domain. So, you can pick up a niche like ‘email marketing to millennials’ and start projecting yourself as an expert in that particular segment.
Many people fear that by doing so, they might narrow down the number of people that they will interact with. While this may be a concern, it gives you a more targeted approach and helps you build trust and relationships in a quicker and easier manner. In the long run, it proves to be the correct approach towards managing a powerful brand!
While there is no denying the fact that Personal Branding can go a long way in ensuring a great career journey, many professionals find it to be a daunting task. After all, running a brand and managing the same is more than a full-time job, right? And which is why you need the help of a Coach to guide you and point you in the right direction.
At Change Ur Story, we understand that Personal Branding is all about building trust, understanding the niche and establishing yourself as a thought leader. We counsel and coach professionals like you to help manage and maintain their Personal Brand. The days of updating your profile online and expecting companies to find you are long gone. It’s time to pull up your socks and start working on your Personal branding. Drop us a line and let’s get started today!
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