The 5 P’s of Your Personal Brand

So, tell me about yourself?

The question that puts fear into us all, we stumble across an answer that will reveal what the person wants to hear and what we need to sell.

It’s hard. Who am I? What defines brand ‘me’?

Last month I learnt the 5 P’s of your Personal Brand at a NIDA event, ‘Become a Key Person of Influence’. The target audience for the event was entrepreneurs, but attendees came with a common purpose – to help define themselves (their goals) and their brand (what they need to portray about themselves to the world).

Daniel Priestly identified five steps on how to become a person of influence, and I think these steps apply no matter what stage you are at in your career –

1. Pitch – Do you answer the question ‘what do you do’ with confidence and clarity? You also need to make sure you know what industry or network that you want to promote your brand to. Similar to what I had covered on resumes, if you are providing a pitch that isn’t specific or tailored to that market that you want to get into, you may lose the person from the beginning. Keep it short, sweet and precise.

2. Publish – Gain credibility through writing. I am very privileged to be able to write a blog within my organisation. Writing is a great way to communicate ideas, share information and connect. Credibility can also include transcripts, academic achievements, awards – present your brand, don’t be shy about what you have achieved so far, be proud of it without being arrogant about it.

3. Product – Turning your skills into an asset for the company you work for, the business you are wanting to start, the next challenge that you want to take on in your career. This means not just verbalising what you do, but providing the results, proving that you are capable of putting plan into action when you are sharing your ideas or defining who you are.

4. Profile – How easily are you found on Google and other social media networks? Now remember this could be a double edged sword, while it is great to keep up to date with technology and ways to socially connect online, be careful of what you are promoting. For example, most employers will take a look on Facebook or LinkedIn before proceeding to the interview. If your profile is open to all public viewing and your profile picture has obscene or rude gestures, chances are you may not be taken that seriously. Make sure you are promoting the best side of yourself to everyone.

5. Partnership – Are you connecting with others in your industry or other mentors or professionals that can help steer you in the right direction of where you want your career to lead? Connection builds to relationships which can further expand your network and also provides recommendations and support. Do keep in mind this is not often a one way street. You cannot gain what you need for others without making negotiations or going the extra mile for them as well. This takes time, but make the effort and commit to catch-ups to build these relationships and lasting connections.

What I liked about this course was that it gave me a ‘refresher’ when it came to promoting my personal brand. We had intervals where we were timed to meet someone else in the audience and had 90 seconds to give our elevator pitch. While initially I wanted to promote the company that I work for and its services, it challenged me to reflect on what I brought to the company personally, especially since I had been used to my pitch from when I was in the events industry, and I had built different skills and expertise to promote.

It is never easy to approach a stranger and talk about who you are; in fact you can feel quite vulnerable! But the more firmly planted you are in terms of your skills, qualities, what makes you unique as well as how that ties in with your career field of interest, the more confidently you will be able to express that. The remaining four steps will follow.

My last piece of advice is not to wait too long or turn down opportunities to showcase your brand. The sooner you are able to present yourself, the more confidence you will build in delivering your pitch, and the more brand awareness you gain. Especially when it comes to seeking new roles and opportunities, if you wait to long to seize the moment, chances are someone else will come along and take it for you. So carpe diem!

What is the best advice that you have ever been given regarding your personal brand? Did it help lead you to where you are today?