Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. This concept suggests success comes from self-packaging. What do you want to be known as or known for professionally? Establishing a personal brand is a full-time commitment to the journey of defining yourself. It is your trademark, your own personal asset that you will need to continue to foster, protect, shape and manage so it is clear what you represent as an individual and as a leader. And what better way to approach this than with creative, out-of-the-box ideas.
Having a well-rehearsed, succinct elevator speech is important in developing your brand. An elevator speech is a clear, brief message about you. Depending on where you are in your career, it communicates who you are, what you’re looking for, what you are working on and how you can benefit your company or organization. It typically is about 30 seconds and is characteristically used when you first meet someone or are applying for a new job.
However, there are many other opportunities where an elevator speech can help you in your career. Three keys to a great elevator speech are to make it memorable, ask a question at the end to engage who you are talking to and practice, practice, practice. This allows you to easily and confidently talk about yourself without feeling like you are boasting or bragging. Your elevator speech is part of your brand. It shows who you are, what you have achieved and what you can do in the future.
Creating lasting relationships is an important aspect of developing both your brand and your career. One type of strong and productive relationship you should develop is a mentorship. A mentor can be someone you look up to professionally and whose skills and experience will help you grow. Your mentor can help you develop your brand through networking. This would be a great opportunity to use your elevator speech! Know and understand your own personal career goals and clearly communicate them to your mentor.
Part of having a clear brand is having other people know what it is and others being able to clearly communicate it. Knowing what you want will help your mentor guide you. Respect your mentor’s time and ensure each interaction with them is relevant to your career goals. Wisdom from experience cannot be taught; finding someone who can guide you and share their wisdom with you will help you grow professionally. You can learn how they became successful and use their strategies to build your own career. Your mentor could become your biggest champion for success.
By creating and presenting your personal brand you will stand out in your company. Having an elevator speech and a mentor are just a few examples of how to go about it. There are many other ways to build and communicate your brand — using social media is a great example.
So have fun and start branding yourself today!