Posted by: garispang | June 16, 2009

How to survive in the times of recession? The answer is Self Branding

In big companies there are thousands of people working at any given point in time. Everyone finishes their work on time, works hard, meets the deadlines and strives to get ahead. But, these things will never make you different from others as everyone does the same more so in the recession. Everyone is focused on work and their career. So what is it that can differentiate you from the crowd – The answer is self branding.

In marketing, branding is the entire process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product (goods or services) in the consumers’ mind, through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. The aim of branding is to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market.

You can apply the complicated definition above in the following simple way in order to brand yourself:

Unique name = your unique qualities or your talent

Product = you

Consumers = your boss or top management

Advertising campaigns = the ways or the strategy or the process you use to make yourself popular

Market = people at work

Self branding is a process of differentiating yourself from other people at work. It gives you a competitive edge over the others and thus enhances your chances for promotion and visibility in the long run.

Self branding involves finding out, enhancing and exposing your unique talent which makes you stand out in the crowd. This is special, your talent only you have this talent! It can be anything, the way you speak, your ability to build relationships and bridge interdepartmental gaps, your managerial qualities, your leadership qualities, innovative ways of doing tasks and more. Your qualities need to become more visible, the way to do this is to work with other people and to let them benefit from your qualities. There is no better way to spread a message than by letting other people experience it and get some gain from you. You unique qualities should add value to your company, your colleagues and you. After doing a self assessment and finding your unique talent if you feel that your talent is not that advanced then you need to hone your talent so that it can be truly beneficial.

Here are the steps for self branding:

1) Identify your unique qualities.

2) Enhance and develop your talent. If you feel that you need to sharpen your skills go for some training.

3) Spread awareness – Make others aware of your unique talent by using it to help people across the board.

4) Be Genuine and maintain professional relationships – Help people without bias and try to be a people person.

5) Give respect to everyone

6) Keep yourself open to others ideas and their unique ways so you’re constantly learning.

7) Showcase your talent and Increase visibility by participating in a lot of work and outside work activities.

Self branding does not happen in a day’s time, it is a long term process. Patience is the Keyword!

If you want to really assess yourself then you can take a test and ask your colleagues to tell you honestly what they feel about you. Urge them to be openly critical and prepare you for some hard hitting facts. If you find out facts that you feel are not in sync with your self image then you start working on the plan for self branding.

Self-Branding: What is your Hedgehog Principle

As I am learning more and more about branding for a company, I am also realizing how much we brand ourselves to convey a particular image. This may be a bit obvious, but it is indeed interesting to acknowledge all the ways in which we brand and market ourselves. Especially with all the online social networks, this self-branding becomes even more important. On a daily basis, we are conveying to people who we are, what we believe in, and what we think of ourselves and the world around us. To list some of the ways in which we brand ourselves (again, obvious, but important to point out):

-What we wear
– What we say
– What school we go or went to
– Where we work
– What we watch
– What we listen to
– What pictures of ourselves we choose to post
– What religion we choose to follow

– How we sign our emails- do you say, “best” “sincerely” “yours truly” “hasta” “ciao” etc? 
– If we have a blog
– Having a website is clearly a more direct form of self-marketing

In looking at all of this, we can tie this in to Jim Collin’s “Hedgehog Principle.” If we look at ourselves as our own company, to transform ourselves from good to great, we must look at this principle which asks:

What are you deeply passionate about?
What can you be the best in the world at?
What drives your economic engine? (What is your support system?)

In order to go from good to great within our own lives, we must align our self-brand with our Hedgehog principle.

I’m not so sure the last one applies to individuals. There must be an equivalent in this context. Perhaps, What is your upbringing? What are your moral values? What is your support system? (i.e. friends, family, etc.) I think I would vote for this last one as it seems the most equivalent.

I hope this article was of some help to you. Go for self branding and see the difference.

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