Author: Emma Dale

Co-Founder of Prospect and Transform Executive Coaching

In PR and Comms, we work tirelessly to promote businesses, yet sometimes we forget to promote ourselves.

It’s partly because ‘personal branding’ is one of those terms that is often used, but not always clearly understood.

What personal branding is (and isn’t)

Personal branding doesn’t mean you have to dress in a striking way or become a celebrity. Instead, it’s about asking for more responsibility, learning how to promote yourself through mentors and sponsors, raising your profile internally and externally, building your network and becoming a thought leader.

At its heart, personal branding is simply about identifying what you want to be known for in your industry, then raising your profile to become better known.

Where to start?

If you want to begin developing your personal brand, but aren’t sure exactly how, here are five strategies that are quick and easy to implement.

  1. To define yourself, look outside yourself

If you want to discover what you’re known for, you can spend weeks navel gazing, or you can just ask other people who know you.

Message a few people you’ve worked with (ex-colleagues are good) and ask them to name three words they would use to describe you, and one word they wouldn’t. Their answers will give you a good baseline to build on.

  1. Don’t be afraid to be distinctive

It’s tempting to try and be all things to all people, but then your personal brand ends up being pulled in several different directions at once. And, as I know from doing rowing in my spare time, pulling in different directions never works well!

So, get clear on what you stand for and you’ll start attracting opportunities and clients that are a good fit.

  1. When promoting yourself, start with your existing network

It’s easy to get caught up in adding new connections, while overlooking all your existing friends, colleagues and mentors. They already know, like and trust you, so look back over your contacts and you’ll find plenty of people who can help raise your profile.

  1. Start small, start today

Like many things in life, starting is half the battle. It’s easy to let perfectionism, or your inner critic, stop you from taking action. To overcome this, find one small thing you can do today to help promote yourself. Ideally, something you can create in 30 minutes or less, using your existing knowledge, such as:

  • A LinkedIn post sharing a helpful tip or an interesting book you’ve read.
  • A short blog post about a project you’ve worked on, including a quote from yourself.
  • A message to an industry-specific podcast or event offering to share your expertise.

Choose whatever feels achievable.

  1. Get some support

Just because personal branding is about you, it needn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. Going it alone is hard, so find someone who can help you to reach your goals. This could be a colleague, whose opinion you trust, your mentor, or my own speciality, a coach. From my years of coaching females in communications, in the UK and Asia, I know first-hand how much progress you can make when you have expert support.

Whichever strategy you choose to implement, investing some time into developing your personal brand can pay big dividends and could lead to a promotion or new opportunities and clients.

Emma Dale

Co-Founder of Prospect and Transform Executive Coaching

 Emma is a trusted coach, recruiter, and business leader. During her two-decades of experience as Co-Founder and Managing Director of Prospect, she has guided countless individuals and companies in Asia and the UK towards achieving individual career ambitions and business success.

She coaches female leaders in Communications lead with confidence and thrive in their roles. Learn more about her signature coaching programme, EmpowerHER- Elevating Female leaders in Communications here.