The biggest misconception about personal branding is that your brand is all about you. Personal branding is about how you deliver value to others. Strong, enviable brands are held in the hearts and minds of those who know you.
There’s one technique that will help you build a strong and compelling personal brand:
Generosity is one of the most effective yet often overlooked ways of growing your brand. It’s perhaps the most powerful way to become known for all the right reasons . . . and it has a desirable byproduct: When you are giving to others, you build your confidence and feel great about yourself. So how can you use giving to build your brand? Here are seven ways:
1. Share Knowledge
When you are willing to share your expertise with others, you help make them successful while demonstrating how smart you are. This could include your peers in your organization and colleagues outside your company who work in your field.
2. Give Advice
Be willing to help colleagues, employees, and others around you to be more successful. That means providing guidance that will help them get unstuck or increase their efficiency. It could be advice on how to build a stronger relationship with their manager or tips on how to save time in completing expense reports.
3. Provide Real-time Support
When others are on a deadline and could use some help or need to vent, be the person in their corner exactly when they need you most. When you show people that you have their back and are willing to pitch in when they’re desperate for it, you build enduring trust and loyalty – two of the key building blocks of strong relationships.
4. Express Gratitude
Acknowledging others is one of the best ways to build relationships while showing people that you’re appreciative. When you acknowledge them in front of others, you get an additional benefit – they get an extra boost by being recognized in front of their peers and managers and you demonstrate that you’re truly an appreciative team player. You can express gratitude in meetings, by providing unsolicited LinkedIn recommendations or by praising people in your social media posts.
5. Include Them
When you are writing a white paper or attending a special networking event or are selected to be on a really exciting project, find ways to include others so you can help them build their brand. You might ask them to contribute a quote, get them a ticket to attend a conference you’re going to, or invite them to a learning program you’re attending or leading.
6. Give Feedback
Feedback is important for all of us. It helps us refine what we do and how we do it so we can be more accomplished and build stronger relationships with others. It also helps us identify what we are doing really well so we can do more if that. Providing it consistently and regularly – even if it isn’t all positive – will be a career booster for those with whom you share it. Just remember to be delicate and supportive when delivering feedback that might be considered critical. When you’re on the receiving side of feedback, always assume positive intent.
7. Be a Mentor
When you take on an official role as a mentor, you’re committing to the success of someone else. As a mentor, you’re sharing the experience you gained to help others excel more rapidly – learning from your challenges and mistakes. Many senior executives say that their mentors were instrumental in accelerating their rise to the top. And if you’re a junior employee, reverse mentoring can help you connect with more senior leaders by sharing your expertise or perspective on topics like digital fitness or social media. The other benefit of reverse mentoring is that you build a special relationship with someone who could be much more senior than you – something you’d otherwise be unlikely to do.