personal-brandingYou’re already leaving an impression – the way you sign your emails, your profile pic on social networks, your voicemail message, your favorite saying.  The way you present yourself to the world helps those who don’t know you personally form an instant snapshot of what you’re all about.

This is your personal brand.  You can let it run wild on it’s own, or you can harness the brand equity that comes with investing in your image.

Creating a personal brand doesn’t mean that you’re conceited or narcissistic.  It doesn’t mean that you want fame or notoriety.  It just means that you’re aware of your strengths, weaknesses, uniqueness-es, and how others perceive them.

Like an elevator pitch, a strong personal brand is a clear, succinct way of telling your clients, colleagues, and professional network who you are and what you can deliver.

And that’s a critical tool for project managers.

As a project manager, you need buy-in from multiple stakeholders to meet deliverables.  A well-crafted personal brand lets each stakeholder know upfront what to expect when working with you.  Are you the passionate, inspirational leader who will light a fire under your team when a deadline approaches too quickly?  Are you the reserved, nose-to-the-grindstone type who expects the same from your team?  Or are you the great facilitator who excels at solving differences between stakeholders to uncover common goals?

Packaging your passion, personality, and point of view as your personal brand can create enormous value by:

Building Recognition

Don’t worry, you’ll still be able to leave your house without being hounded by the paparazzi, but people in your industry will know of you.  They can easily talk about you and refer you because they understand what you deliver.  Chatter and referrals are priceless for PM consultants who rely on a strong network to keep their client pipeline full.

Landing the Right Gigs

Do you want to make strides in the telecom industry?  Work with nonprofits to implement impactful technology?  Make cities smarter?  Your personal brand attracts the type personalities and the type of clients that you love working with.  In turn, you’ll excel because you’ll land work in a niche that fits.

Adding Perceived Value

Do you tame big data?  Is your head in the cloud?  Do you relish working on brownfield apps?  Are you fluent in Agile?  Everyone wants to work with the expert, so tapping into your passion for trends and specialties can add perceived value to your brand.

Whether you are a project manager that needs buy-in from the team, or a PM consultant needing to line up the next client, personal branding can be essential to building and sustaining an incredible career.

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