Branding isn't just for business. Every one of us is a brand, with a reputation that precedes us. For managers, having a strong personal brand at work is imperative, because managing successfully is often less about technical skills than relationships and partnering. With a strong brand, colleagues will know what to expect in working with you and seek you out when your brand fits their needs. Here are five tips to help you promote your personal brand at work.
Define your personal brand.
Before you start promoting yourself, know what your personal brand stands for. It can be toughness, that gets the job done; it can be the ability to bridge between technical and business worlds. Your brand should express the full scope of what working with you is like. Clarify your brand and make sure the work you do backs it up every day.
Network at work.
Promoting your brand to others requires seeking out others. Take a look at your organization and identify colleagues to connect with; these could be peers in another department or a manager whose team you'd like to join. Because you work for the same company, making contact is easy. Just shoot them a brief email and suggest getting together for coffee or a quick lunch.
Let people know what you're doing.
Start with the person who has the most impact on your career: your boss. Make sure your direct manager is aware of your successes and your ambitions.
One of the best boosts to your brand is becoming known as someone who helps others. Offer your help to colleagues and projects at work. It's most effective if you take the time to understand their needs in advance and develop your own insights rather than ask what you can do to help them.
Standing up and asking questions is a great way to get noticed. When you attend a company meeting headlined by a top executive, take advantage of any Q&A session to ask smart questions; the executives notice and appreciate that. You should also take advantage of "meet and greet" sessions to mingle and introduce yourself to managers in other departments.
Promoting your brand at work is largely about putting yourself out there to make contact with co-workers throughout the organization. The more people you make the effort to know, the more you will be known, and the more opportunities that will come your way.