Monday, June 22, 2009

Do People Draw a Blank When it Comes to Your Personal Brand?

I remember the first time I had a really in-depth discussion about personal branding many years ago. I was interviewing Catherine Kaputa, who wrote "You R A Brand", and she took the time to really explain the whole concept to me.

Since then, I've interviewed other personal branding experts, and they've all added to my knowledge. I've also seen a lot of people think they are effective personal branders, but they're really not doing anything but annoying people with their "look at me!" practices.

Recently, I had a chance to connect with Kaputa again for a recent Gannett/USA Today column on females rising in the executive ranks. She has a new book, "The Female Brand: Using the Female Mindset to Succeed in Business," and I wanted to share some of the information with you.

In the book, Kaputa has several "brainstormers", and one is called "SWOT Analysis." It goes like this:

Strengths: Write down anything that you are good at and love to do, or what your boss or clients give you high marks on.
Kaputa advises females to examine several female aptitudes she lists in her book, such as empathy, language ability, team leader and collaboration. She says women should use these to see what strengths they possess.

Weaknesses. Write down what you're terrible at and hate to do, or what your boss and friends criticize you for.

Opportunities. This is wide open, Kaputa says. Write down anything that could be an opportunity for you. A key is to look for unmet or unsatisfied needs that you could capitalize on.

Threats. Write down what keeps you awake at night, whether real or imagined, about yourself, your career or your business.

Notes Kaputa in her book: "None of us works in a vacuum, just as none of us works on a completely level playing field. But understanding and leveraging our strengths against the needs and perceptions in the career landscape will help us build a powerful personal brand identity.

After all, no matter who you are, your brand reputation arrives before you do. Either you have a personal brand identity that people are aware of or they draw a blank."

How have you determined your personal brand identity?


Anonymous said...

I don't really think much about a personal brand. I don't see how it would fit into the job i have right now. That being said, I realize that even though I believe my job to be safe, I should do more to protect it in the future. At the end of the day, who knows if I may get laid off? Thanks for providing this iniformation. I think I'll start putting my personal brand together.

Mike Buckley said...

Great post! I've done a lot of SWOT analyses in business but I never thought of doing one on myself. Thanks for sharing.

Anita said...

I had to laugh when I read your comment. Sort of a "Physician: Heal Thyself!" Maybe we all need to take our own advice more often! Thanks for sharing.