How Do I Stand Out?
“How do I stand out from the crowd and get noticed?” I get this question a lot from young executives in my company.
I totally understand the confusion. When I was 25, no one told me what it really took to get ahead in business.
Here’s the thing, this question is not just relevant for young people beginning their careers. I know many people in their late 30s and 40s that are still trying to figure out how to distinguish themselves from everyone else.
Obscurity Is Not Just Frustrating, It’s Dangerous
In the globalized world where we now live and work, companies are constantly restructuring in an effort to stay competitive.
More often than not, the people who get negatively “impacted” in these changes are the nameless faces in the crowd.
The ones who stand out, and have established a reputation for themselves, normally come out fine, or often – better.
You Need A Brand Strategy AND Communication Plan
Success in anything requires a well thought out and executed plan.
Part of that plan is how are you going to stand out from others in the same job, career, or industry.
The process below will help you develop a highly effective plan for standing out and “being seen”.
Step One: What Do You Want To Be Known For?
You are a brand. I’ll say it again because it’s that important – YOU ARE A BRAND. And, like any great brand you need to establish what you want to be known for. Every great brand stands on one or two key things it wants to emphasize:
What are the one or two key skills, qualities or traits you can use to “positively differentiate” yourself from others? For example, do you want to constantly be known as a “top performer”, or a “problem solver”?
If You Don’t Establish Your Brand, Someone Else Will
Keep this in mind – if you don’t establish what you want to be known for, others will fill in the blanks.
This is where labels come in. We all know people who are referred to as “innovative”, “effective”, or worse “jerk”. Most of the time, those “brands” were established by others.
Doubtful? Find someone you trust implicitly and ask them what you’re known for.
We all wear brands in our careers, the key is being in charge of shaping it.
Step 2: Communicate Your Brand
How you conduct yourself at work and what you focus on is a key component of how you communicate your brand. For example, I’ve pegged myself to the “innovator” brand. I’m constantly looking for better ways to serve our customers or, how to get things done faster and cheaper.
But That Isn’t Nearly Enough
The chances of you being at your current company two to three years from now are extremely low.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you communicate your brand to the world so you can control where you go and what do next (as opposed to just taking any available job).
All great brands have robust advertising plans. Some things you can do to advertise your particular brand are:
- Start doing Facebook Live videos
- Post on LinkedIn
- Write a blog
- Find professional organizations where you can speak
- Film Youtube videos
- Volunteer for an industry or trade group and get on a committee consistent with your brand
Focus on topics that you want to be known for.
Now I know what a lot of you are thinking – I’m not good at video, I terrified at public speaking, and I don’t have the time to add one more thing to my life.
Here’s the deal- it all comes down to one very important thing: If you want to really build your personal brand and be in charge of your career then you need overcome your fears and reprioritize your life to fit these in.
Oh, and by the way, “I don’t know how” is no longer and excuse. I’m a “GenXer” who learned how to build a website, start a blog and establish an e-commerce site from the ground up, all with one thing – Google.
It’s A Matter Of Choice
It’s up to you. If you really want to maximize your career, earnings, and personal potential then it’s time to “Play Offense” and actively build your brand on a daily basis.
The alternative is to do what most other professionals do – drift through their careers taking what comes to them, and spending each day feeling unfulfilled.
So What Do You Think
Make sense? If so, share in the comments below one thing you’re going to do in the next 7 days, to establish your brand and get known.
Post questions, I’m here to help.
My God Bless You, Prosper and in the Game of Life and Business: “Always Play Offense”
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I’ve spent my entire life in the Fortune 500, and I want to share everything I wish I knew when I was younger in the hopes that you can find success far faster than I did.
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