This is the second in a series of three articles about personal branding by Kathleen Laney, the President and Founder of Laney Solutions. Read part one here.
Laney Solutions is the first search firm to specialize specifically in parking industry recruitment and works with businesses ranging from startups to enterprises in the U.S., Canada, South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Achieving success in today’s workforce requires more than just being good at your job. To get the attention of your desired employers, you’ll need unique personal branding.
Last week I defined a personal brand. Today I will begin teaching you to build your own.
Below I’ll share the first two of five steps to help you establish your own personal brand. You can also download a companion personal branding worksheet here.
Step One: Define
Before taking action or building your brand, you must understand what you’re building and why you’re doing it. Define the image, person and career you’re striving for. Ask yourself what you want to be known for and how you want to be perceived.
Questions to Help Define your Goals, Purpose and Niche
- What do you want to be known for?
- Which specific goals do you hope to accomplish through personal branding?
- Who should you communicate with to network and ask for advice?
- What features or capabilities does your target audience value?
- How do you become known by your audience and through which channels do you reach them?
Consider the trends affecting the economy and the parking industry. This year’s Emerging Trends in Parking survey conducted by IPI found that most parking trends relate to new and innovative technologies. Check out the list below for they career paths they identified as having bright futures.
6 careers with bright futures in parking:
- Risk management professionals and engineers with expertise in data security protocols including CPI compliance requirements
- Software developers with mobile and cloud-based application development experience
- Data scientists with experience in predictive algorithms and analytics, data warehousing and KPIs
- Tech savvy sales, business development and client relationship professionals with experience navigating local government and building channel partnerships
- Application engineers with responsibilities for installation and maintenance of equipment and technology solutions
- Executives with expertise in on-demand transportation trends, energy consumption and sustainability best practices
Identify and master a specific segment or job function within the parking industry rather than being a standard (replaceable) sales, operations or client relationship employee.
Step Two: Assess
Once you’ve determined your goal(s), the next exercise will identify the qualities you want others to associate with your brand. Find what sets you apart in a crowded field and use it as a key asset to draw upon.
- What drives you? What are you most passionate about at work?
- How are you perceived by colleagues and friends?
- What do you do better than anyone else and how are your skills unique?
- Why should others want to work with you?
- How does your online presence represent your professionalism?
- Compare your defined goals and your current self. What skills do you still need to achieve your goals?
A commanding brand requires a narrow focus. Instead of trying to be all things to all people, identify one personal attribute that could be a game changer for your career.
With your goals and strengths in mind, what skills and experience do you need to improve upon to achieve your desired career? Knowing what you need to learn or practice will be the key to reaching your goals.
In Part 3, we will examine the final three steps of building a personal brand. If you haven’t yet, check out Part 1 here.