Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Be bold – and create your personal brand

Be bold – and create your personal brand

By Mark Helfen

This month we begin meeting at a new location:
Silicon Valley Innovation Center
3200 Coronado Drive. Santa Clara, CA 95051
Map: http://goo.gl/maps/qE7Xl
(Don’t go to our old place – you’ll miss the pizza!)

Your personal brand – the description of your unique talents, capabilities and ability to make a difference, is no longer a nice to have - it’s a requirement. To develop an effective personal brand you need to “be bold,” something most people find hard to do. Or so says Karen Kang, speaker at the January 14 SVForum Marketing and Social Media SIG.

Kang is founder and CEO of Branding Pays, a consulting firm that specializes in both corporate and personal branding, and executive coaching. She is also the author of a recently released book BrandingPays: The Five-Step System to Reinvent Your Personal Brand, and will have copies available at her presentation including two copies to raffle for free.

The starting point for developing your personal brand is to have a strategic plan – a vision of the unique way you create value for others. And a message that your market wants to hear.

Many strategic executives understand (or think they understand) the idea of creating a corporate brand. But a personal brand can also help your business succeed, for example by better allowing your talents and skills to be seen and used within the company. Not to mention that in the rapidly changing economy we live in, your personal brand goes with you, even when you’re business changes (or disappears). A personal brand also helps your visibility across virtual and geographic distances, as business becomes global, remote, and connections are formed over social media.

Besides, if you don’t create your own personal brand, you run the risk of someone else creating it for you. Which might not be in your best interest.

As you think about your personal brand, you need to think about how you “provide value in a different and better way.” You need to provide evidence, proof, or endorsements that you can deliver on your promise. This could be a personal website with examples of your work. A blog could demonstrate your strategic thinking capability. Or even Linkedin, where endorsements from others can help validate your capabilities, and your brand.

But what might be the hardest part is Kang’s instruction to “be bold” – what big ideas will you be known for, what unique, differentiated value will you add, how you can be a change agent.

Bold might be outside your comfort zone. So come my Monday, and see if you can’t get a shot of courage to help in developing your personal brand.

Please sign up on Meetup:


Mark Helfen is a freelance writer, journalist, and marketing consultant.

He can be reached at: mhelfen@wordpixel.com
Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/markhelfen
Facebook: facebook.com/mark.helfen
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/mark_helfen


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