"Men are promoted based on potential, while women are promoted based on accomplishments."
- Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In
Women often still feel like doing a good job is enough for a promotion, whereas men are more likely to be outspoken and proactive. The study Women in the Workplace 2016 by McKinsey and LeanIn.Org found that women who lobby for a promotion are 54% more likely to get one than those who don't, but these women are 30% more likely to be seen as "intimidating", "aggressive", or "bossy".
While many companies are committed to gender diversity, they have problems putting this commitment to practice. There still are fewer women in senior positions than men, therefore, it is essential for women to have a personal brand and to get noticed. For a woman in business, communicating one's brand can be challenging, but more women are overcoming the reluctance to market themselves and the feeling that they are bragging about their achievements.
Building your brand has got to be intentional, and whether you are just starting your career, or you are looking to advance, here are 5 important questions we have identified:
1. What do you stand for?
When it comes to building your personal brand, there is no other person to be than yourself. Find your style, do what works for you, don’t just do what others are doing, stand out of the crowd and project your uniqueness to those you relate with. Ensure you always operate from the place of your strength and create your footprint. Every update should be intentional yet authentic. As Caroline McHugh put it in her Ted Talk The art of being yourself
"When you look at remarkable individuals you find that the thing they have in common is that they have nothing in common."
2. Are you consistent?
Nothing can hurt building your brand like inconsistency. Let your online platforms; be it your website, or social media handle, updates or article consistently reflect your core values and personality. Once you are consistent, you will earn the trust of those you relate with daily.
3. Are you building meaningful relationships?
You cannot build your brand in isolation, there is need to engage with people especially women in your industry. Whether through online communities or by attending networking events. Networking doesn’t only boost your own brand but also your career.
4. What are you passionate about?
Without passion, it will be impossible to build a successful personal brand. People can spot when you are not real far off; in that case, put your heart into whatever you are doing. Let the projection of your brand resonate with areas of your passion - greatness can only be achieved where genuine passion lies.
5. Are you making your words count?
Building a personal brand goes beyond your website, social media handles, updates or articles, it is about what you do daily – your real life interactions. It is about the impression you leave in the minds of people as you relate with them and how you respond to situations. So, beyond your social media profile and personal website, be a woman of your words, your profile may give you a head start, but your daily interaction with people will determine the success of your brand.
Thanks to social and mobile technology, you can now own and drive how everyone perceives you. Everything you do; whether a tweet, a blog post, a like, a photo or an update on any of your platform is shaping your image. Personal branding doesn't happen overnight and as you are working on your brand, the right opportunities will start coming along.
What is your most important branding tip? We'd love to hear your opinion in the comments below...
If you've just joined the conversation and are wondering why all this matters, read our previous blog 5 steps to power-up your personal brand.
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