Today, I’m proud to feature a “guest post” by friend of the firm Maren Finzer, who asked me to not only get the word out about a special free upcoming 3/15 tele-seminar she’s delivering on personal branding (details here) — as well as pass along eight great tips on how professionals today can properly assess their “brand” and differentiate themselves from the competition.

So without further ado, here’s what Maren has to share on the matter!

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MAREN FINZER: 8 STEPS TO BUILDING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

Personal Branding is BIG these days.

According to a recent survey from Kelly Global Workforce Index, which surveyed approximately 134,000 people, creating your personal brand is key to employment opportunities.

“In taking control of their careers, a strong personal brand becomes critical for individuals in helping to differentiate themselves and gain future employment” -George Corona, Kelley Services EVP & COO

You may already understand that you need a personal brand to stand out in this competitive marketplace, but you’re not quite sure how to build one.

Following is an 8-step process, based on my training as a Reach Certified Personal Brand Strategist.  It’s the first phase in uncovering and building your personal brand, and can involve some deep digging and introspection.  If you work through it, the pay-off is highly rewarding: your own high-performance personal brand to help you stand out, land your ideal job and get paid what you’re worth.

Let’s get started.

1.  Define what are your vision and purpose.

Describe the big picture of how you see the future of the world, and then how your role supports that.

2.  Define what are your values and passions.

Your values are your core operating principles that guide your decisions and what you do. These are important to you, and you want to ensure there is a match between your values and the values of the company you want to work for.  Your passions are what get you excited to get up everyday; they fuel you, and you need to be able to find a way to integrate these into your daily work role.

3. What are your goals?

List your specific career goals for the next 1-5 years, and put a strategic plan together to get there.

4. What are your strengths and top skills?

Make a list of the areas you have excelled in, and the times you were the happiest. This is one way to uncover your natural gifts and talents. How have you used a strength to solve a problem or add value for your employer? What are you known for? Identify and exploit your strengths, and make them visible to those around you.

5.  List your brand attributes.

Which adjectives best describe your value and personality? You can build strong emotional connections by consistently demonstrating your unique brand attributes. Some examples might be: Passionate, diplomatic, collaborative, dynamic, detailed, methodical, adaptable, international, risk-taking, discerning, enthusiastic, quirky

6.  What is your brand reputation?

Your brand is held in the hearts and minds of those around you. It’s what they think that counts. Your reputation, online and in the real world, precedes you. What are the words people use to describe you? Ask them. Does your self-perception line up with what they think, and if not, what do you need to do to get back on track in order to reach your goals?

7.  Who needs to know about you?

Your target audience is the group of decision makers that need to know about you so that you can land the ideal job and reach your goals. It’s critical that you know specifically who they are, so you can determine what they’re looking for, where they hang out, and the key words that will attract them. Once you know this, you’re able to position yourself to attract, engage and capture their attention.

8.  Who is your competition, and what differentiates you from them?

What separates you from those who seemingly do the same thing you do?

Your peers, who are striving for the same opportunities as you, are your competition. Take a look at who they are, what their credentials are, and what makes them valuable. Now review your strengths, attributes and passions, and identify the additional value you have, over and above the others.  Think about the ways you can package that uniquely and differently, in a way that nobody else can. Put it all together as you create your irresistible personal brand statement.

Where do you stand in the personal brand building process?  Would you like to learn some additional in-depth tips and steps about personal branding, via a workshop or webinar?  If so, I’ve put together a quick survey to see how I can best help you build your personal brand to land your ideal job and get paid what you’re worth.  It shouldn’t take more than 3 -5 minutes.   As a way of saying thanks for taking the survey, I’d like to invite you to join me for a free Q&A tele-seminar on Personal Branding, taking place Tuesday, 3/15, at Noon — where I will answer any of your personal branding questions.

The quick survey I’d love your help with can be found at:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RPX39KT

Details about the free 3/15 tele-seminar can be found at:
http://bit.ly/eNjinZ

If you do decide to participate in the tele-seminar, please be sure to post your questions for me, in advance, and I will do my very best to answer all of them.   Thank you!

Maren Finzer is a Certified Personal Brand Strategist, passionately helping professionals accelerate their career success. You can learn more about her at www.marenfinzer.com.