When people think of building their own brand, they think of logos and taglines, but I’m talking about building your own brand. What is your own identity as a contributor to your field? What makes you important and relevant in the business world? That is your brand. What have you done to establish your brand?
Think of it like this: if you came to work tomorrow morning and saw that your company folded, what would be left of your career identity? Take away the name of the company you work for, remove the title beneath your name and think about what is left of your brand. In many cases, there isn’t much left.
Building your own brand is not just a means of creating job security, it’s also a means of creating relevancy. Too many times people get so closely tied to the company they work for, they forget what they are working for. Building your brand allows you to be more engaged at various levels in your field and it’s not just valued by your company—it’s valued by your peers and potential business partners.
Building your own brand takes time, but it pays in dividends in the end. Creating your own brand can potentially position you as a thought leader in your industry, make you indispensable at work, and create more opportunity than you ever imagined.
Here are three areas in which to focus to help get you started:
Contribute: Find other organizations and companies who could benefit from your thought leadership. Write guest blog posts for them, ask to be included in any speaking engagements they have, find ways to contribute your message to a broader voice with an already-captive audience.
Collaborate: Discover others who share a passion similar to yours that complements your skill set. Work together to help share your messages. Collaborate on webinars together, co-write white papers, or consider hosting an event.
Connect: Networking is key to helping build your brand. People need to know who you are in order to gain your insight. Social networks are great like LinkedIn and Twitter, but I really like face-to-face opportunities. Two of my favorite networking events in Columbus are the Columbus Chamber’s Clambake and Startup Week, which is coming up May 2-6.
Tackling all three of these key areas at once can be overwhelming, so chip away at them bit by bit. Careers aren’t created overnight, neither are personal brands.
For more information and business resources, visit Columbus.org.