How to Build a Successful Personal Brand in the Business World

…by Linda Louise Johnson.

Building the Brand of “You”

Branding has long been the marketing buzz word in the business world. Creating brand identity, increasing market awareness, building equity in a brand strategy, loading brand perception with positive aspects; that’s branding. The same is true of personal business success in the corporate arena. To succeed requires building your own brand. Every task you complete, the quality of your work, every interaction you have with others, and even your personal appearance creates and builds on the brand of “You.”

As a twenty-something working in a corporation, Alexandra Levit learned “that perception is reality and that creating and sustaining an effective corporate persona – or the mature, professional and competent face you project to the work world – is more important than anything else you can do on the job” as she explains in They Don’t Teach Corporate in College: A Twenty-Something’s Guide to the Business World.

Building Your Brand, the Foundation

First days on the job and first impressions at meetings, are the foundations for the brand you’re building. Whatever you do or say first begins creating brand perception immediately.

Positive brand building: Being on time to meetings, professionally dressed, contributing intelligently and pertinently when appropriate, staying on subject; being actively and obviously interested in the subject at hand, inquisitive and eager to learn.

Negative brand building: Being late, rushed, unprepared, sloppy. Talking too much. Taking the discussion off on tangents. Beginning every sentence with “I”. Relating everything to your personal experience. Knowing all the answers, or knowing none of them. Chiming in before you know what the meeting concerns. Not chiming in at all, showing no interest.

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