What are you GREAT at? Strengths Based Personal Branding

Personal Brands are topical right now. We are told we need to manage, massage and maximize them. Tom Peters, best selling management author said “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”

But how do we do this? What exactly is a personal brand and how do you figure out what yours looks like?

A personal brand is the combination of qualities that you are known for, for better or worse. In marketing terms it is your unique selling proposition and the personal traits that differentiate you from others.

Personal Branding is the process of:
• identifying what you are great at
• articulating those abilities in a consistent and appealing message
• promoting the value of your unique abilities to targeted audiences

Steps two and three are relatively easy in that you can learn how to do them by studying and applying marketing and communications practices.

What is not so easy is, identifying and articulating your unique offering. Here is where an understanding of your strengths puts you way ahead of the crowd in defining and managing your personal brand. OR Here is where knowledge of your strengths and therefore, the traits that are the essence of your personality sheds a bright light on the personal brand question.

This knowledge of our strengths enables us to identify what differentiates us from others, and what we need to cultivate and promote to achieve what we want in life.

Our strengths are the things that we are naturally good at and the areas where we have the most potential to excel. This article will tell you how to take your Clifton Strengthsfinder results and develop a clear personal brand statement.

First of all take a look at the detailed descriptions of your top 5 signature strengths. For each one ask:

– How does this description apply to me?
– How does this strength play out in me?
– When have I been recognised for this? What do people say?
– What is it that I do better than many other people?
– What’s my unique point of difference that this strength describes?

Don’t be shy or modest here. We are looking for facts about you. Many of us have been trained to feel comfortable speaking about what we are not good at. You do not do yourself any favours by refusing to also acknowledge where you excel.

Lets say that the StrengthsFinder assessment reveals that you have the talent of Achiever. People with this talent are often driven, ambitious and hard-working.

After asking yourself the above questions you notice that your achiever talent plays out in many areas of your life. For example:

– The weekends for example are busy for you, and you feel very satisfied if you can tick off a number of chores off the mental or physical list that is your constant companion.
– You have been frequently recognized for the characteristics that come with the Achiever talent. For example, your manager does not micromanage you as she knows that you can be trusted to get something done once you know what it is.
– you always strive to be in the top percentile of measures of performance
– At some level you welcome having more things to do, and feel adrift without something to work on.

On thinking these observations over, you may decide that the essence of Achiever for you is that that you get things done. This is an essential part of who you are and how you operate in the world. It is part of your personal brand.

Follow this process for each of your top five strengths. You know you will have finished this step when you have a sentence for each strength that describes the core / heart that strength for you.

Finally, after considering these strategies for all of your Top 5 Talents., put them together in one statement that starts with “I” .

Here is an example.

I bring people together (Includer) to get things things done (Achiever). In the process I build trust and personal connection (Relator). I am able to analyse all the different paths to an outcome and intuitively see the way forward (Strategic). My ultimate aim for myself and my work, is to continually make things better, for myself, in my role and for the people around me (Maximiser).

The value that this brings is my ability to build a cohesive team that has momentum and connection. We focus on doing things well, are loyal and support each other.

Now that you have the statement of your personal brand, you are able to consciously leverage these talents:

– so other people see the same qualities, and therefore see the authentic you
– so you have some clarity when making big life descisions
– so you don’t go down blind alleys in terms of actions that are not right for you
– so you can shape a career and a life around the things that you are best at, where you will excel and where you can contribute most.

Article two explains how to go about leveraging your Strengths Based Personal Brand at Work.

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