To brand, or not to brand, that is the question that many individuals face in the midst of company branding. Building your personal brand within the confines of a company is a unique challenge that requires a certain amount of tact. Aggressively push to be noticed and you will be ostracised by your peers. Quietly stand-by while company branding overshadows your personal style and you’ll become a worker drone which corporate never notices (or promotes). So, just how do you add a touch of personal branding to the overarching, and at times overpowering, company branding? The answer involves positioning, timing, and marketing. Here are a few ideas:-
When it comes to personal branding it is all about positioning yourself as the company expert. Start small with your fellow employees by becoming the “go to” for interns and new hires. The more that your supervisor realizes that you have a vested interest in the growth and success of the company, the more likely he is to give you added responsibilities. Positioning yourself as a company expert opens the doors needed to volunteer for media interviews and speaking engagements. These venues are the perfect time to let a little bit of your personal style shine through.
As with most things in business, timing is everything. Building a solid working relationship with your superiors will help you to better understand their company vision. When it comes to pitching a personal branding opportunity, it is important that you can clearly articulate how it will be beneficial to the company in its entirety. Be upfront with your boss about your personal goals. No matter the industry, honesty is always the right policy when it comes to personal branding. Don’t sell yourself too short and never overpromise, while under delivering.
Marketing your personal brand within the larger company brand is all about strategy. Use your headshot, author bio, and even email signature to promote your personal style. At a glance your professional headshot says a lot about who you are. For a woman: is your hair up or down; did you wear make-up or stay natural; are you wearing jewelry; did you wear a suit or dress? For men: did you wear a tie or bow tie; is your hair slicked back or naturally free; are you wearing a jacket; are you wearing a point, button down, or cutaway collar? People automatically associate dress with specific personality types. Your author bio and email signature is a place to let your personal brand shine through. Written communication, through grammatical syntax and word choice, is one of the easiest ways to succinctly show bits of your personal brand.
4. When Personal Brand Becomes Company Branding
For some industries it is particularly easy to fall into the trap of making your personal brand synonymous with company branding. The latter trap can be especially tricky for Realtors and Loan Officers. Often times a loan officer will build an individual brand, only to team-up with other professionals as the business grows. The moment that you step-away from a one-man-show, is the minute that you need to re-strategize your branding. At the later junction, a loan officer will need to create a company brand (for the team aspect), while still maintaining aspects of his personal branding.
5. Personal Branding is Here to Stay
Remember that your personal brand is partially responsible for your current successes. Through proper positioning, timing, and marketing your personal brand can help take you to new business heights.