Every person can have many attributes of their professional or personal brand. All of these attributes help you differentiate yourself from other candidates in an interview, the quality of your work, and your ability to take on more responsibility.
There is a lot of chatter about honing specific aspects of your branding, whether through social or business networks or your on-line presence.
But most of the advice ignores the one branding characteristic that is most important to hiring managers, inside the company and out.
That branding attribute is this: you deliver the work you say you can deliver.
Consider any type of branding attribute: you can increase revenue or reduce cost, or are a process savant. Just name the attribute you think you can contribute to an organization.
Then consider that all of those attributes have an assumption of delivery of work behind them.
If your brand is building revenue, you will need to show how you built revenue for a company. If your brand is cost reduction, you will need to show how you got the cost reductions. If your brand is process, you will have to show how your process work delivered improved efficiency to the work.
If you can’t quantify what you delivered, your professional brand will be met with disbelief.
Consider all of the characteristics you believe you bring to your work. Write them down. Then pair them up with the accomplishments you have done that show that you have delivered on your brand.
Building a brand is not done with a single accomplishment. Instead, there are many accomplishments that need delivery in order to solidify a “brand.” FedEx doesn’t get a brand of getting there “absolutely, positively overnight” by delivering one plane to a city.
Instead, consistent delivery of millions of packages absolutely, positively overnight is what solidifies the brand.
Consequently, you can’t say that you are a process savant and only analyzed one process that improved the business a little. Instead, you need to analyze dozens of processes for improvement and developed results for each one.
Each of these instances helps you solidify your professional brand.
When you are reading all of these career sites about building a professional brand, it is difficult enough to come up with the 3-4 brand attributes that you believe about your work (we’re too close to our work).
But, you need to take the next step. For each professional branding attribute, you’ve got to build enough accomplishments around that attribute so there is no question of your brand.