What is Your Personal Brand? What is Your Professional Brand? Is it Time for a Change?
Kitty Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition Coach | Possibility Thinker | Job Search Guide to Burnt-Out Teachers & Professionals
What is your personal brand? Do you even know? Have you given it much (any) thought? And if you have embraced a personal brand that has worked for you for years, is it time, perhaps, for a change?
This topic is on my mind this week because I have just in the last few days decided to embrace a new brand of sorts as it relates to what I do in my business. Thank you to the client who helped me come to this conclusion. If she is reading this, she will know who she is. 😇
The conversation that got me thinking about this was about personal and professional branding. Many people are unaware that they have a personal and professional brand, but we all do. To sum it up most simply, your brand is your reputation--your personal reputation and your reputation at work or in your profession.
Consider, then: What you think people think of when they hear your name? Do they consider you to be honest, trustworthy, and capable? Or do they think of you untrustworthy or something of a goof-off?
If you are brutally honest with yourself, you will probably have some notion of what your brand is. But in truth, we all have blind spots, so if you want to know the real scoop on your brand, ask a good friend. Tell them you want the unvarnished truth. Brace yourself, though. You may hear some things you don't expect to hear.
I learned a little about branding when I was in high school, and thankfully it was a good experience. Much to my surprise, during my senior year, I was voted the "Most Dependable Girl" in my graduating class. It surprised me because (a) I didn't think that many people knew me, and (b) I didn't think being "dependable" was anything special. And it is certainly not as glamorous as "Most Likely to Succeed" or "Funniest" or "Most Popular."
So, being thought of as "dependable may not be all that exciting, but I'll take it. The truth is I like being considered dependable!
I have also embraced the idea that I am trustworthy, which was the term that emerged as the result of an assessment I took as it relates to my business brand. Dependable and trustworthy...I like both of those terms and am actually honored if people think of me that way. If those words are part of my overall reputation, I am okay with that!
On the other hand, I also have a professional brand in addition to a personal one, and I have been working this past four years on becoming known as the expert in teacher burnout and a coach to teachers who are burnt-out and ready to explore their professional options.
I am making headway in that direction, but I recently came to realize that I really want to work with people who aren't just burnt-out but who have a sense of hope and optimism about their next steps. They are ready for a transformational experience as opposed to feeling completely beaten down and hopeless. I want to attract people who are open, ready and willing to be coached and to consider possibilities. As my recent client put it, I want to work with those who choose "love over fear and are ready to live their lives courageously and with authenticity."
As a result of that thinking, I changed my headline on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter last week. It is what I have offered under my name in the heading above: "Heart-Centered Career Transition Coach | Possibility Thinker | Job Search Guide to Burnt-Out Teachers & Professionals."
Why "heart-centered?" Well, there is a growing group of people in the world who are coming to grips with the fact that part of the reason for their unhappiness at work is that they are working in areas where they don't feel that they are in alignment with their core values and natural attributes and interests. Imagine how miserable it is to work in a job or profession that makes you feel that you are swimming upstream all the time. It is exhausting! If you have been in that situation--or you are currently experiencing this situation--you know what I mean.
Getting in tune with your true purpose, your passion and mission in life, and aligning those with your natural gifts and talents can lead you to a new type of work or profession that you may not have even considered yet. It calls for you to be open to possibilities which is where I believe I have a natural talent. I help my clients explore their professional possibilities.
I still want to help those teachers and mid-career professionals who are feeling the ill-effects of burnout, but I don't want that to necessarily be at the center of the beginning of our work together. I believe we will move farther faster if we approach it from a sense of exploration and adventure as opposed to a sense of fear and victimhood.
So, that is what I am embracing as my new brand.
I encourage you to think about your brand and what you think it is currently. If you want to change it, you certainly can. You just need to get clear about what you want it to be!
Let me know what you think, and if you need help in this area, let me know. One good place to start with establishing a potent personal and professional brand is on LinkedIn. If you need some help with that, let me know. I would love to offer some tips that might be helpful to you in establishing the brand you want for yourself.
Do yourself a favor and think about this topic seriously this week. Don't just discard it. Everyone needs to think about what their personal and professional brand is and how they present themselves in the world.
Brands aren't just for companies anymore. You have a brand whether you know it or not. It would help if you not only knew what it was but that you took control of it, too.
Until next time.
If you are serious about wanting to create or do an audit of your online brand, I can help. Sign up for a video review of your LinkedIn profile. I have marked this product down $20, so you can get your LinkedIn profile reviewed only $27! This is a limited time offer, however. If you would like to take advantage of it, use this link by midnight, Friday, November 3rd.
Here is the link: https://boitnottcoach.samcart.com/products/linkedin-resume-review/
And if you need a more personal approach to your brand or your career, why not take advantage of the 20-minute no-obligation strategy session I offer? Sign up using this link: https://kittyatcareermakeover.coachesconsole.com/calendar/