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9 steps to build your personal brand (and your career)

Rich Hein | May 23, 2013
Competition in the tech jobs industry is fierce, so how do you differentiate yourself from the pack? Whether you're a job seeker or just looking to grow professionally, creating an impressive and meaningful brand is the best place to start.

Another option to write a paper explaining how you solved a common problem within your CMS building a custom module to allow the integration of newsletters, saving the company money from the third- party newsletter service subscription as well as time and energy because people don't have to log in and out of disparate systems to complete their daily workflow. Regardless of how you do it, create compelling content that engages and informs and then put it out there and engage in conversation.

5. Keep updating your content and brand
Experts agree that Googling your name to see where you are is a good way to see how you're progressing. If you've been working your plan you should start to see some traction but this is only the beginning of the journey. "Once you do own that profile you have to manage it. It's not for a week it's for your whole life," says Schawbel.

The bottom-line is don't rest on your laurels. The best people never do. They are always educating themselves and growing their professional horizons and so should you. Consider this part of your routine and not something you do from time to time. Don't let your content or profiles get stale.

6. Help people understand why they need your services
"CIOs need to be able brand what their capabilities are, so companies can begin to see them in a different way," says Rucker. As a CIO or senior technology person, you have to regularly convey to others around you how what you do can help them do their jobs better.

"You have to learn how to listen and pull out of people the things that they want or do research to find out what companies want, then tie what you do well to what they want, so that you can directly link successes you've had in the past to a goal they are trying to achieve," says Rucker.

7. You can't be a brand alone
You need to surround yourself with the best people. When you are the boss, everyone who works for you is a representative of your department and your capabilities. You can be the most articulate CIO on the planet, but are your subordinates up to snuff?

Rucker says an important part of this is living your brand. If you can consistently demonstrate to your team that you are who you say you are, then they will follow suit. "Find people who love your brand and what you do. Create a community or contribute externally and surround yourself with these kinds of people," says Rucker.

8. Make sure every interaction leaves them feeling like you have lived up to your brand statement
Once your personal brand is in place, now the real work begins. Every interaction, according to the experts, needs to leave the affected individuals feeling like you did what you said you were going to do and you were true to your brand statement. One thing everyone hates, according to Rucker, is when someone is broadcasting that they are an expert at big data, only to find out after the fact that they are not.


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