Do you think of yourself as a professional? More importantly, does your boss? How about your clients or prospective employers? If you want to know how to brand yourself as a professional, read on.
Hopefully you, your boss, clients and future employers all think of you as a professional but if you answered “No” to either of those questions, it’s not too late.
Answer the following questions to determine if your professional brand needs some work:
- Am I being promoted with or ahead of my peers?
- Am I at asked to help on special projects?
- Am I viewed as an expert in at least one niche related to my field?
- Do my clients call me or someone else for help?
Answering negatively to any of these three questions will guide you into how to go about branding yourself.
All you need to know is how to brand yourself as a professional. It’s a simple process but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Before you do anything else, read the following resources regarding personal branding. These go through much of the general process:
Now that you understand what personal branding is and how to change your personal brand, let’s look at some specific areas of focus for you as a professional.
How to Brand Yourself as a Professional
When you think of branding yourself as a professional, what do you envision?
I think of looking good in a suit and tie, being a leader and being thought of as an expert. There are other areas for sure but those are what I think of.
Dress the Part
Do all professionals have to wear a suit and tie every day? Of course not!
Branding myself as a professional, I believe I should simply because of the business I’m in. That could be different for you though depending on where you live, what your profession is and what your clients expect.
Regardless, you need to dress the part. If you want others to view you as a professional, you need to look like a professional.
Look at the high performers in your field to see how they look. What do they wear on a daily basis? Don’t recreate the wheel; mimic success.
It’s definitely okay to put your own spin on things. You want to stand out and have your own identity.
Being a Leader
Nothing will help your case of being professional more than being viewed as a leader. By definition, leaders must have followers. Leadership doesn’t depend on age, race, gender, seniority or even title.
Instead, leadership is the ability to influence others.
There are, of course, good leaders and bad leaders.
Good leaders influence others by putting others first. They empower their followers and value their strengths. Bad leaders influence through fear.
Which are you?
Being the Trusted Advisor
You’ll really know when you’ve branded yourself as a professional in the best way. Once your brand reaches that state, your clients, co-workers and boss will rely on you for advice.
You don’t even need to be in an advisory role to be a trusted advisor. You can help anyone regardless of your position.
Why would someone ask you for advice if that’s not your job? They will ask you if you brand yourself to always be willing to help. There is a big difference between someone who says he will help and someone who actually does.
Are You a Professional?
What do you think about these three traits of professionalism? Do others think of you as a leader and a trusted advisor? Do they believe you dress according to the brand you’re trying to present to the world?
Remember, each person who gets paid to do a job is a professional at that job. That doesn’t mean others will think of you as a professional. It takes a lot of effort and consistency to create a brand of professionalism.
Question for you: What is the biggest area of your brand you need help with?