Establishing a personal brand — which is similar to a mission or summary statement about yourself — can seem like a daunting task, but it is an essential part of developing yourself as a leader and vital to shaping how you are perceived by your community.
The goal of a personal brand is to build trust and generate positive perceptions about yourself, explained Tony Erwin, principal consultant with Blue Icon Advisors. To enhance or create your mission, you should begin by evaluating the state of your current brand.
“You can’t achieve if you haven’t determined the path, and the path starts with the current,” Erwin said.
One way to self-evaluate is to conduct a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) analysis. A SWOT analysis allows you to look not only at what you want to improve or achieve, but also identify areas in which you already excel and want to solidify. Erwin recommended setting realistic goals on an appropriate timeline when considering the steps you need to take and what resources you’ll need.
He also suggested to rely on not only your own perspectives, but to also ask others at your institution for feedback for a “360 degree review” in your SWOT analysis
“Don’t shy away [from getting feedback] from someone who may not be your biggest fan,” Erwin said. “You need that critical voice as well.”
An important aspect of creating a personal brand is learning how to share your professional story. Telling your story can be difficult — especially for financial aid administrators who sometimes struggle to define their individual contributions to shared successes on campus, Erwin noted.
He recommended that financial aid professionals work to overcome the fear of sharing their stories and learn to focus on themselves when the situation calls for it.
When it comes to your personal brand, your work is never finished, Erwin told viewers. He advised taking the time to reassess the impact you’re having by continuously conducting evaluations, and noted that there is flexibility in establishing the timeline for collecting reviews of your progress.
Ongoing feedback can be gathered formally and informally. Erwin suggested asking your coworkers or team if they have perceived changes since you initially asked for their feedback, and said checking in can also extend your relationship with your coworkers. There’s no wrong way to collect feedback, according to Erwin, provided you are open to hearing what others have to say about you.
“It’s really important to remember that [establishing your personal brand] doesn’t have to be something else on your list that has to get done, this is something that — when done well — can help you facilitate everything else you’re trying to get done,” Erwin said.
To hear more about building your personal brand, you can now access the replay of the Facebook Live event. The Blue Icon Advisors team can also help you develop your summary statement through one-on-one coaching. Learn more about what Blue Icon Advisors can offer you and your office.
Publication Date: 1/6/2020