#74 Boost your career with a strong personal brand

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Who is Lee?

Lee Caraher is the founder and CEO of Double Forte, a US-based public relations and communications agency. She’s also a loving mother, wife, friend, sister, and daughter. Other than that, she is also the author of two books about creating great positive team cultures.

Like many people coming on the podcast, Lee is also a rebel with a heart. She left a job she didn’t like at a large international company because she wanted to align her thoughts and hopes with her everyday life. She wanted to like her job, that’s why she started her own company. She wanted to create her own definition of success. That makes her a rebel to the system!
She of course has a heart side in her as well. Humans are complicated and messy sometimes. And we all know we must collaborate to set up and finish projects. Lee’s heart knows that we cannot fit all these humans inside a box, but we must accept their messiness and know how to use it to our and their advantage to reach amazing results.

Why is personal branding so important?

We define a brand as how other people describe you or how you describe other people. You may not realize you already have a brand, but everyone brands other persons subconsciously. If you have a strong and authentic personal brand, you will have more opportunities in your career. Personal branding is the actions you take to ensure that your brand reflects what you want it to reflect.

How do you start?

1-     Who are you?

The first thing you have to do is assess what type of leader and person you are. How do you lead? Who are you? It’s often a good idea to talk to your peers or old colleagues and bosses to answer these questions. Sometimes, you may find that you are a bit different than you would’ve thought about yourself.

2-     Who do you want to be?

This question is somewhat simple but can be hard to answer. What type of leader do you want to become? How do you want to be remembered? What kind of life do you see yourself living in 10 years?

3-     Find the gaps!

Now you must identify the gaps between who you are and who you want to become. Then you can get going! Work on these things and make sure to reflect the brand you want to become in everything you say and do. Make sure your corporate bio and LinkedIn profile reflect what you are known for. And not a dull list of things you have done in the past. Make sure to show what problems you can solve and how you solve them!

What can you do to make yourself heard or seen?

1-     Become a spokesperson of the company,

This gives you a voice to show your values and personal brand to the outside world. It’s an opportunity to spread the brand!

2-     You should have a LinkedIn profile and a Twitter profile

That Twitter profile should reflect your LinkedIn. Why Twitter, you may ask. Twitter is the media’s medium to communicate and find people. If you want to find some media attention, Twitter is where you should be!

3-     Find great places to speak out

Where are you speaking now? Conferences? Keynotes? Webinars? It often starts in the company itself, where you can write articles, or write in your company blog. If it doesn’t have one, create it! If you speak or write these things, write it on your LinkedIn as well! These blogs or articles have your name attached to them and help you build your brand.

How do you stay authentic when working for a company?

One thing that can be difficult, is to promote your personal brand through your company, without losing authenticity. But there are a couple of things you can do to fix that problem.
Define what you will and won’t talk about. Define in what lanes you will be working! What and what not will you be commenting on. Will you take political standpoints? Will you comment on standpoints your company takes?
The next thing you can do is to choose only three or four main subjects you will focus on. These can be in common with your company values, but they don’t necessarily have to be.

I hope you have learned a lot about what it takes to make your own personal brand successful, I know I have. If you are interested in Lee’s programs, blogs, and podcasts, be sure to check out the links below!

See you in the next episode!

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