The workplace has changed and will continue to adapt to market demands. Over 60% of full-time freelancers have chosen this working arrangement and this percentage increases each year according to a study by Upwork. Harvard Business Review recently called the rise of freelancing The Rise of the Supertemp stating “professionals like lawyers, ‘C’ level executives and consultants with world-class training are choosing to work independently”.
According to the Institute of Leadership and Management, 94% of UK organisations offer employees some form of flexible working and 73% of managers say that their organization is largely supportive of it.
Added to this, Start-up Britain revealed a second record-breaking year of start-up businesses registering with Companies House, numbering 608,110 in 2015.
Company employees and entrepreneurs increasingly have the opportunity to conduct their work in a way that fits their lifestyle.
Tom Peters is noted for stating “We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Incorporated. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You”.
Whether you are a freelancer or not you are a free agent. Gone are the days when you belonged to any company for life, affiliated to any particular function or title. Now you can create your own job title, the title does not create you. No longer are you confine by job descriptions.
To articulate yourself succinctly, in a meaningful and memorable way, you need to know who you are and what value to have to offer the world whether you are employed or self-employed. This is the power of personally branding YOU, and developing your personal business personality.
In my book Business Evolution my chapter ‘Personality’ presents why ‘Personality’ is critical in a rapidly changing global economy and offers practical exercises to help business owners and entrepreneurs create a Personal Business Personality. Developing Brand You is crucial for employees in a changing global job market, requiring a similar perspective.
You must understand how to distinguish yourself from all the other very smart people and then discover what it takes to create a distinctive role for yourself, this is a role only you can perform. Brand You is about creating a message and a strategy to promote the brand called You.
What is your Unique Difference?
- What is it that your product or service does that makes it different?
- What do you do that no one else can do in the way that you do it?
- What do you offer that is unique to you (collection of variables skills, experience, character or strengths)?
- What makes you stand out, and sets you apart from your colleagues, competitors?
- Skills – qualifications, rehearsed practiced ability, work
- Experience – view of the world, travel, culture, language, social connections
- Character – humour, personality, behaviours, mind-set.
- Strengths – what come easy to you that may be more difficult for others?
Answer the questions above and distil the answer down to 15 words or less, then review your answer several times, until you are happy with your Brand You statement.
Brand You is not a wish to be Richard Branson, even Richard Branson grew into what he is today, his brand evolved with the challenges life set him. He evolved out of the resilience he gained from his experiences. Your brand will evolve over time, however being where you are now and with a view to progress on your personal professional goals. Identify the skills, experience, character and strengths that are authentically you, that do you need to demonstrate and promote to accelerate your progress.
Does your Brand You statement offer a unique difference to the world that adds a remarkable, measurable, distinguished and distinctive value that you want to be known for? You must become relentlessly focused on what you do that adds value, that you are proud to stand by and to promote.
What is your Purpose?
This answer the question why do you think you are here? In my book I ask and help you to answer ‘What can you do that no one else can do in the way that you do it?’
We are all uniquely different, your job is to find your difference and share it. Brand You must be visible and recognisable, there is no point being great at something if no one knows about it, no one is able to use it or value it. It is selfish not to share your greatness! This is not about you, it is about helping others with your gifts, not in an arrogant way, because everyone is here to make a different.
Just get started and Make Your Difference!
Next week a will talk about How to Create Brand You.