SPEAKER'S CORNER: Glenda Blakely – The Importance of Professional Branding, May 7, 2012

Summarized by Frances Chaves
A well-executed personal branding campaign creates a strong, consistent, and specific association between the individual and the perceived value they offer.
Personal branding is common among entertainment, political, and sports figures. In business, individuals such as Donald Trump, Martha Stewart, and Jack Welch have created enormous personal visibility and success by actively promoting their personal brands.
The elements of a personal branding statement are:

  • Value Proposition: what do you stand for?
  • Differentiation: what makes you stand out?
  • Marketability: what makes you compelling?

Personal branding typically begins with establishing an inventory of core competencies, expertise, demonstrated abilities, and existing level of recognition, informed by market research or feedback.
Questions to be answered revolve around who needs to know about you, what are you best-positioned to fill, and what differentiates you from others in your field or space?
Examples of America’s most respected brands include Apple, Amazon, Google, Coca-Cola, IBM, Fed Ex, Berkshire Hathaway, Starbucks, Proctor & Gamble and Southwest Airlines. Examples of problem personal brands are Dwight Howard, Betsy Johnson, John Edwards and the New Orleans Saints. A few of Glenda’s favorite brands are: Dawn Detergent, Liz Claiborne, Woolite, St. Ives products, Cirque de Soleil.
Social Media Branding Resources: while LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are considered the holy grail of social media in terms of personal branding, Glenda also suggests considering:

  • Hootsuite: a social media dashboard which manages multiple social profiles, schedules messages and tweets, tracks brand mentions, and analyzes social media traffic.
  • Establishing a Google Page.
  • Starting a blog regarding your area of expertise.

Why Blog?

  • A blog is an opportunity to share your knowledge, tools, tips, cutting-edge information, industry trends, and late-breaking news.
  • Sharing useful links, news related to your field, inside information about your business, or recommending the work of others, tends to brand you as someone who posts valuable content that others will want to share with their friends.
  • Many recruiters and some hiring managers are now keyword searching online for matches on blogs and social media sites for potential candidates.

Glenda recommends the following writing exercise. Answer these questions:

  • What is your professional brand?
  • What creative strategies are you currently utilizing to build and expand your brand?
  • What additional skills and or training do you require to move your brand forward?

 You can reach Glenda at http://www.linkedin.com/in/glendablakely

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