Who knew Dirty Dancing is actually a film about female empowerment….well it is! There is a handsome Prince Charming in there, but ultimately Baby Houseman for all her fears and vulnerabilities SUCCEEDS and has the time of her life doing so. What’s not to love! “No-one puts Baby in a Corner” is therefore the title of the inaugural edition of my FirstWoman monthly missive aka Newsletter I could have called it ‘Personal Branding for Women’ but where’s the fun in that besides my vision is for it to be the ‘Marie Claire’ of Personal Branding! So in addition to sharing the tools and strategies for women to Speak up, Stand out and Shine, there will also be irreverent, no holes barred commentary on the patriarchy, articles of interest on the subject, book reviews and other sisterhood nuggets
For those who are new to me and Personal Branding here’s a little more info about me and my Personal Brand for women practice, FirstWoman. FirstWoman has been steadily growing over the past 3 years with a very clear objective; to help women to overcome the unique challenges we face in reaching leadership roles such as confidence, imposter syndrome, lack of self-belief, communication skills, presence, visibility, self-advocacy….stereotyping and bias. Sadly the list goes on.
My approach to Personal Branding is a combination of my own experience in reaching Board level positions; the Exec leadership training I benefitted from along the way and how I learnt (eventually) to ‘get out of my own way’.
I didn’t realise whilst I was doing all of this, how influential my Personal Brand was in successfully securing these roles, and that’s why I began FirstWoman, to share this knowledge with other women
What is Personal Branding for women all about?
First up, rid your mind of any preconceived ideas of Kim Kardashian and other Instagram Influencers. My version of Personal Branding has zero to do with manufactured profiles or perfect lifestyles, it is about being successful simply by being yourself.
A captivating Personal Brand strategically aligned with career goals can help most women achieve professional success regardless of sector or discipline because your unique Brand is your competitive advantage
So how do you start to build your Personal Brand?
One of the most common challenges for my clients, many of whom are marketers themselves, is how to apply the principles of branding to themselves. For non-marketers developing their Personal Brand is a voyage of discovery in every sense.
Here are the building blocks of your Personal Brand
It is an exercise in Honesty and self-awareness. Having a growth mindset and accepting that:
- You are not perfect, nor should you expect to be
- Not everyone is going to like your Brand and that’s fine as long as your are respected. This is super important for women who err towards people-pleasing and wanting to be liked by everyone
The Foundation Elements
- Strengths. What do you excel at or have a talent or a gift for?
- Acquired Skills & Expertise. The things you have learnt which you enjoy doing.
- Values, by which I mean your moral compass, your deep-seated principles.
- Drivers. The things that motivate you to out of bed in the morning and that are necessary for you to be happy and thrive.
What it is you want to be known for. Build your professional reputation on that platform. Be intentional; ensure everything you say and do goes towards building that reputation, then find ways to amplify and evidence it, this builds trust in you being a known quantity
It’s not who you know, but who knows you. You don’t need to impress everyone all of the time, the aim is to be selectively famous for that one thing with your key stakeholder audiences.
Be clear on your USP
USP (unique selling proposition) or Value Proposition, aka what is it you uniquely offer your audience? And how to deliver that as an Elevator Pitch so you always create a memorable first impression
Amplifying your Brand
You have to activate and amplify your brand, by being visible to your audience in the right place. There’s no point developing an awesome Personal Brand if you don’t leverage it in your favour. Women struggle with this, but the good news is there are many ways to do this without having jazz hands.
Developing an impactful Personal Brand is an essential career development tool. Not only does it provide clarity and focus, you’ll feel more confident and empowered.
And empowered women are unstoppable!
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