GOOD ADVICE: 8 Ways to Build Your Career Brand

Published by Doug Wallace on

Rebecca Perrin is a strategic communications professional, but more specifically a career consultant for women in growth mode. She helps women find leadership positions, earn higher incomes and become senior leaders at work. Here, she outlines a few steps to help you play to your strengths:

1. Define the real you

One of the first things my clients want to talk about is how they can promote their accomplishments and unique strengths without feeling like they’re being boastful. We are Canadian, so we’re all concerned about coming across as arrogant, so it’s important to figure out how to balance promoting your accomplishments with Canadian modesty.

The first step is to have a conversation partner—this can be a boss, a coworker, a partner, a friend, someone who you can sit down with and ask in earnest: “What am I best at?” and “What makes me effective in my position?” What you’re looking for is honest feedback. This can be how quickly you do your job, or your approach to copywriting or to creative problem-solving—something that you do differently. It’s important to understand your particular value, what you’re most skilled at.

2. Put pen to paper

Now you’re ready to write your LinkedIn profile or an About Me or an elevator pitch about who you are at work, something that can later become a bit of a timestamp of your career brand. A lot of people make the mistake of writing their LinkedIn summary about their job, when it needs to be about what you do differently and what it’s like to work with you, what your philosophy about your job is, what you’re passionate about for the future, what you’re ambitious about. It’s not: “I did this, I did that, I’m really good at Excel.” No one cares.

3. Examine your style

While you’re summarizing, make sure to include information about your approach to management. If you’re the manager of a team, outline what your management style is—whether you have a democratic approach or take full charge of your team. How do you delegate tasks? How do you celebrate the accomplishments of your team? Maybe you’re more of a mother hen than a drill sergeant. Prospective clients and/or bosses want to know this. Companies and clients want to hire contractors or employees who are going to fix the problems they have and that is often based on management style.

4. Blow your own horn

In terms of your career brand, get good at marketing yourself. Know what you believe in and what your key messages are. Have an idea who your ideal market is. As marketers, we know these kinds of things about our clients, we work it every day, so adapt that same marketing model and communication strategy to your own self.

5. Join the conversation

Whenever people research you, they go to Instagram to see if they like you, and they go to LinkedIn to see if they trust you.

Whenever people research you, they go to Instagram to see if they like you, and they go to LinkedIn to see if they trust you. I get hired to do LinkedIn channel management for CEOs. They know that it’s no longer acceptable to not be active or engaged. There are things you can say about news, innovation, leaders, things that are happening in your industry that you should weigh in on. Put your two cents in and engage with your community. Share things, spread the news and comment on things you care about.

6. Share your bigger ideas

To disseminate the info, I urge people to take advantage of LinkedIn Publishing. Write an article on something you care about. Say you want to write about a special type of leadership. Try writing a small article every week about your leadership philosophy. Try that for even five weeks. People on LinkedIn will follow along. You are training this audience to understand what type of leader you are. You create an association with yourself and this style of leadership. It’s content marketing for you.

LinkedIn Publishing is free, it’s got an algorithm attached to it, and the articles stay live on your profile as tools of evidence. I coach my clients to think of everything they publish on LinkedIn to be a reason for hiring you. You’re building a defence case.

7. Don’t get too personal

Don’t mistake Instagram for a personal news feed. Instagram is so much more sophisticated than that now. If you’re still sharing overly personal things on Instagram, that’s very 2010 of you.

Instagram is a business marketing tool, a public-facing, edited version of who you are. You need to have a public account. It’s where people look at you with a critical eye to discover something about you. If you want to publish wild antics for your friends and family to see, have a private account. But if an employer or client or potential business partner goes to research you on Instagram all they find is a private account, that sends a closed-off message. When people can’t discover more about you, that’s not your best strategy.

8. Move up in the world

Sometimes an internal promotion is a classic case of needing to rebrand. All your coworkers have an idea of who you are and what you do. They think you’re the guy from the mailroom, but you’re trying to become an account manager. You have to do something to make people start thinking about you differently, to change the perception of you. It’s all tied to how you present yourself to people internally—it’s a bit of new clothes, new visual content on Instagram, topics of conversation on LinkedIn—create a PR campaign that works to promote your ideas.

Sometimes an internal promotion is a classic case of needing to rebrand. All your coworkers have an idea of who you are and what you do. They think you’re the guy from the mailroom, but you’re trying to become an account manager. You have to do something to make people start thinking about you differently, to change the perception of you. It’s all tied to how you present yourself to people internally—it’s a bit of new clothes, new visual content on Instagram, topics of conversation on LinkedIn—create a PR campaign that works to promote your ideas.

Learn more from Rebecca Perrin at her website: www.brandeditor.co.


Doug Wallace

Doug Wallace

DOUG WALLACE is a custom-content authority, lifestyle copywriter, travel writer and contract editor. He is principal of Wallace Media and editor-publisher of TravelRight.Today.