As a creative professional, no matter what projects you pursue, you can create a lot more opportunities for yourself when you establish a clear, concrete, and powerful personal brand.
Here are five steps to help you define who you are, what you do, and where you want to go.
Get to Know Yourself
No matter what work you do, you have your own skills, style, and experiences that are unique to you. Together, they make up a professional persona that differentiates you from your competition. The more specific you can be about your persona, the more consistent your brand can be, and the more work it can do on your behalf.
Developing an effective personal brand requires taking an inventory of what you do well, how others see you, and how you can help them. It can be difficult to look at yourself objectively, on the flip side, this process of inquiry will pay enormous dividends throughout your career.
Check Your Humility
To maintain a healthy grounding in reality, it’s important to be realistic and think critically about yourself, your strengths, and the areas in which you can improve upon. When you’re building your brand set this aside for the moment and begin with an open mind.
Flatter yourself. Emphasize your strengths. Present yourself as a legend, a rock star, larger than life. You can always be humble and approachable after people are intrigued!
If you have trouble getting excited about your own brand, this classic Creative Mornings talk from Richard Sauerman will provide a jolt of encouragement and help you fall in love with yourself a bit.
Go on a Vision Quest
Create a detailed picture of where you want to go in your professional life, and your mind will begin to automatically strategize how to get you there.
Before you begin the detailed work of building your personal brand, try this visioning exercise. It will help you understand why you’re doing all this. Imagine the fruits of your success and you’ll whet your appetite for the work it requires.
Become You, Inc.
Now it’s time to open your toolbox and assemble the nuts and bolts you will use to build your brand. You’ll develop your own style guide, visual assets, slogan, elevator pitch, and everything else a business needs to distinguish and differentiate itself.
To do this, you can use the same assignments and techniques that top agencies use on branding projects for multinational corporations. This article on the best practices of in-the-weeds brand-branding lists all the essentials you’ll need, with examples from some of the world’s best-known corporate brands.
Knowing how to stand out in the crowd is key to defining your personal brand. Check out Winnie & Lorrie Hart’s book on Stand Out for more details.
Your brand may be born in the studio, and it will come into its own when it learns to survive on the street. As time goes on, you will develop and iterate on your brand based on how it interacts with the outside world at networking events, in pitch meetings, online, in the work you do, and in the content you create.
Whether you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, you’ll ultimately build your brand through active engagement with your professional community. The more you do this, the more opportunities will open for you. It pays to be strategic, mindful, and deliberate about it.
Consider what you’re comfortable with, and then go slightly outside that zone. You’ll bring back some interesting insights.
At Artisan Creative, we pool decades of experience in the world of creative work to help you become your best professional self and hit goals you didn’t know you had. Contact us today to find your next invigorating challenge.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the 499th issue of our a.blog