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  • Linda R. Taliaferro

Personal vs Professional Branding

Recently on the Being Brown at Work Live, I had the pleasure to interview Sasha Simmons. She's a product professional, empowerment activist, author, and speaker, and we had a great conversation about the power of branding. This blog post includes a few nuggets of wisdom she shared, but check out the podcast for the full conversation!

Have you ever heard people talk about the importance of "good branding?" So often, people talk about this concept like it’s mostly about having a stylish business card, but it's so much deeper than that. Personal and professional branding can do massive legwork for you, helping your name get out there and your values communicated to your personal and professional networks.

That's why curating a personal brand really, truly matters.

What is a Personal Brand?

Everyone is known for something. Whether it's that lady in your church's apple pie or the temper of that guy sitting on the board of directors, everyone leaves an impression. Personal branding is all about honing and creating your particular brand so that your reputation speaks for you in a positive way even when you're not in the room.

  • Who are you?

  • What do people know you for?

  • What do people say about you when you're not in the room?

Your personal brand reflects your values, your personality, and your energy. It affects all areas of your life, not just your professional life.

What's a Professional Brand?

Your professional brand is a subset of your personal brand, though it's a very specific one: who you are at work.

  • What is the thing that gets you the job?

  • What books clients?

  • What do you have that your competitors or colleagues don't?

Maybe it's your ability to dive deep on an issue, or your lightning-fast turnaround times. Whatever it is, your professional brand is about what makes you great at your job and an asset to a team.

Why Identify Your Brand?

For either type, formalizing your personal and professional brand standards will help you get crystal clear on what matters to you, how you want to do business, and what makes you an asset to any team, community, or company.

How to Establish a Brand

When you're creating a brand document, a great place to start is in a Word document. Ask yourself (journal style) some questions and write down the answers as honestly as you can.

  • What do I want to be known for?

  • What are my core principles?

  • What do I want my legacy to be?

These are big, heavy-duty questions, so take some time to answer them. Then, arrange them in a document and type them up neatly in whatever way makes most sense for you.

When you're moving through your career, your branding principles are helpful guideposts to use when you're making a decision. If you're ever unsure of a choice, take a look at your brand guidelines and ask yourself which answer is most in-line with the person you'd like to be known as. Then, just do that!

If you want help developing your professional goals and reaching that next-level position you've been dreaming of, let's connect! Click here to put a one-on-one with me on your calendar.

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