By Dave Gordon
First impressions are lasting impressions, sometimes longer than you would like. When workplace or industry colleagues have an outdated impression of you, it can undermine your credibility and hold you back in your career.
Fortunately, as marketers, we’re familiar with how branding/rebranding can reposition a company or product in the marketplace. If your personal brand is out-of-date, it might be time to rebrand yourself and introduce these colleagues to the new you.
When colleagues cling to an outdated impression of what you have to offer professionally, there’s a gap between how you’re viewed and how you want to be viewed. Your challenge is to close that gap.
During my presentation at the 2019 IMCA Annual Conference in Minneapolis, I asserted that you’re always being labeled. So what do you want your new label to say? Start by thinking about what you do now from what you did in the past. Or perhaps you’re doing more of something. We’re working in an era of focus and specialization. In order to be effective, your new label needs to be focused and specific as well.
Successful personal brands have four components:
- Identity — who you are and what you stand for
- Communications — what you say, and how you connect
- Actions — what you do, frequently and with consistency
- Unique Value — how you make a difference
If you’ve previously created a purpose statement, it’s time to revisit and update it. Your updated statement should align with your current role and responsibilities. Using the “I help people…” template, what are some of the new ways that you’re helping?
Your actions need to support your personal brand. If they don’t, you’re your own worst enemy because you’re undermining your rebranding campaign. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your new skills and responsibilities with colleagues who still see you as the old you.
Successful communication is less about what you say and more about what is heard. How does your audience respond to you? You need to be clear and consistent in how you communicate and in your personal messaging. It’s your responsibility to communicate the best of who you are. Be confident enough to say, “I do more than that. Here’s what I do now…”
Once you identified your new personal brand, you need to have 2-3 signature stories that tell your new brand story.
- Who is the new you? This is your new value. You are what you stand for.
- Why am I still here? This is why I continue to work for this company. This should be aligned with your company’s purpose, mission and values.
- Who I help now. This is your most important story. It’s a case study for the new you. This should be in line with your unique value.
Rebranding a company is a process that takes careful planning and execution. It doesn’t happen overnight. So be patient and consistent in your personal rebranding campaign. The rewards are worth it.
Dave Gordon is chief marketing officer at Gallagher Bassett. He is also a motivational speaker, and the author of the soon to be launched business book TIP – A Simple Strategy to Inspire High Performance and Lasting Success. To learn more about dave you can connect on LinkedIn, follow on Twitter @davegordon_9, or go to his website www.davegordon.net.