9 Ways to Strengthen Your Personal Brand

If you Google you, do you like who shows up?

Do you feel like you’ve got a powerful message to share, but without the right positioning, find yourself talking to the metaphorical mute button?

Are you having trouble outgrowing an outdated reputation at work?

Or maybe you’re just looking to get a better seat at the table.

9 Ways to Strengthen Your Winning Well Brand

If your brand could use a power boost, take a step back and give your brand a Winning Well refresh using these nine approaches.

Results

1- Rock your Role
If you’re not knocking your current job out of the park, start there–even if you’re looking for something else. There’s nothing better you can do to enhance your brand than having a long track record of success. 

2- Mind the MIT (Most Important Thing)
Pick something extraordinary to accomplish and prioritize getting it right. If there are 27 metrics on your balanced scorecard, trust me, they are not all created equal. Pick one or two that matter most and be known as the guy or gal that cracked the code. 

3- Focus on the Game (Not the Score)
Don’t go around talking about metrics and stack ranks (even if you’re on top). Identify the key behaviors that will change the game, and focus yourself and your team on executing on those consistently. You build a brand by playing the game, not by measurement and commentary. 

Relationships

4- People before Projects
Of course projects are important (see above) but results without relationships leave people burned out, frustrated, and unlikely to give you their best effort. Take the time to establish genuine connection with the people you work with. Yes, you have time, because it will save you time downstream, not to mention building a reputation that will attract “A players” to want to work with you the next time, which of course, makes everything easier.

5- Prioritize Peers
Most managers understand the importance of supporting their team and making their boss look good. But to build a brand that lasts– have your peers backs (see 8 reasons your peers rate you low on your 360 feedback assessment) and go out of your way to make their lives easier. Trust me. I wish I learned this one sooner. Your boss may want you at the top of the stack rank, but your bosses boss wants a team of people working together to accomplish the bigger picture. A high tide rises all boats. Do what you can to be helpful.

Confidence

6- Take a Stand
When I first started writing my blog, the folks at Verizon got a little twitchy. And, I had no intention of leaving my day job at that point. I just wanted to help spread the word that you can get results without losing your soul, and yes, you can blend the bottom line with the human spirit. I loved my work at Verizon (and received the highest performance reviews during this time) AND I had something larger to say. I thank God every day that I had the courage to speak up and was open to next steps.

7. Expand your Expertise 
If you want to build your brand, get very, very good at something important. When everyone tells you, “You’re the best!”–that’s a great sign… keep learning and work harder. AND work on broadening your knowledge. I started at becoming the best HR expect I could be… and then made a career out of leading teams where I was not the expert in the field. I learned so much. It pays to be a “utility player” with deep knowledge in at least one arena.

Humility

8- Channel Challengers
One of the best ways to improve your brand is to know what people are saying behind your back. Ask for feedback. Say thank you. Work to improve. If you want to be the best possible version of you, surround yourself with people you respect who will tell you the truth.

9- Own the Ugly
Here’s a secret. When you screw up… your team already knows. If you want to foster respect and build a trusted Winning Well brand, admit your mistakes and make it right.

There are no shortcuts to a Winning Well brand. It’s showing up consistently day after day oriented in confident humility with a laser focus on results AND relationships.

Resources for Building Your Personal Brand

You work hard. You’ve got great results. Your team loves you. You’ve made strong internal connections. That’s a start. But others are doing more.

Define what matters most. Build your brand. Share it with the world. Build relationships and find resources beyond your current reach.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to matter beyond your current role. 

Perhaps you’re “too busy” “don’t know how or “hate to toot your own horn” Get past that. Learn how (resources below). Make the time. Connect.

Executive Coach, Speaker and Consultant, Henna Inam, is building her platform. She recently found me through social media and asked to connect, just as I do with others. That’s not networking, that’s building real relationships. It’s easy. It just takes a few minutes to make a connection. She’s got a mission to help women realize their potential as transformational leaders. I have a mission to grow leaders at all levels. We should know one another and collaborate. She shares insights on building your brand (excerpt and link below). That’s only the beginning. You can build these kinds of relationships too.

Five Steps To Amplifying Your Leadership Brand

1) Get clear on your leadership brand. As I define “The Authentic Brand YOU”, it is your unique essence and impact in the world. This sense of clear purpose, the difference that we want to make in our work and in our community, ignites the fire that gets us going and helps us stand out. Karin’s leadership purpose is growing people and organizations through transparency and trusted partnerships. She says “Bad leadership is my enemy!”. Mine is helping women realize their potential to be transformational leaders. What’s yours?
2) Get clear on why you want to amplify your brand. For some leaders it’s about making a big impact – fully expressing who they are in their workplace, industry, and community. For others it may be to create an alternate stream of income while they work. Others may think about this as a way to kick-start their second careers. Once you get clear on the objective, determine how much time and energy you will put into this.

Read Henna’s other steps here

Other Resources I’ve Used in Building My Brand and Platform

Building your brand takes deliberate work. It can feel overwhelming. Start by cleaning up what’s already out there. Google your name. Take an objective look at your Facebook page. Update your LinkedIn Profile. Join a Professional Google Plus or LinkedIn Group. Connect with someone new every day.

I am constantly learning from experts. I have mentors, coaches, and deep relationships formed through social media. I invest time in finding the right resources. We are all learning together and helping one another to become more.

Some Books That Help

The Icarus Deception (Seth Godin) Seth will inspire you to move with urgency and confidence.

Trust Agents and The Impact Equation (Chris Brogan and Julien Smith) Chris and Julien teach about building trusted relationships and the logistics of connection.

The Start-Up of You (Reid Hoffman & Ben Casnocha) A primer from the founder of LinkedIn. An easy place to start. Really good for frontline leaders.

Renegades Write the Rules (Amy Jo Martin) The title says it all. How to unleash your inner renegade.

Never Eat Alone (Keith Ferrazzi) The advanced course in building connections. I learned a lot about the approach to conferences here (it works wonders).

Platform (Michael Hyatt) The basics of starting a blog to build your platform. I literally went chapter by chapter to set up my blog.