In my many years dealing in personal brand (I’ll be telling you I remember when this was all fields next) I’ve come across many people who subscribe to the view that blowing your own trumpet ‘just isn’t done’ and that doing a good job is all that’s required to get ahead.

Well, maybe that was true 20 years ago, but if you take that tack today you’ll get left behind like an odd sock in the laundrette of life. Because with so many people, services and products to choose from, if you’re not proving your worth, the assumption might be that you don’t offer any real value.

So promoting your personal brand is imperative

That doesn’t mean you have to do ‘jazz hands’ every time you say something, or hire a troupe of cheerleaders to follow you about.  Blowing your own trumpet should be much less obvious than that.

That means leveraging a skill we Brits have in spades: subtlety.  By using every opportunity to make lots of little toots instead of a thunderous fanfare, you can create an appealing sound that’s every bit as effective.

What you need to understand is that promoting your brand isn’t a one-off gig – you need to keep up a steady stream of positive impressions on a daily basis. And it’s a lot easier than you might think because, if you’re canny, you’ll do that by channelling positive messages about your brand via every conceivable way people come into contact with you…and I mean every! People are picking up clues to your brand all the time to help cement their first impression (or re-calibrate it) and build a more in-depth perception of you so they can be sure of what they’re buying into.
Sometimes they’ll pick up those clues via written channels:
  • They note the tone of your email
  • They check your email footer for info
  • They Google your website for a biography
  • They search for your LinkedIn profile
  • The receive your LinkedIn updates
  • They read a blog you’ve written
  • They read your Twitter profile
  • They monitor your Tweets
  •  They browse your Facebook updates
  • They receive your out of office message
  • They read a report or memo you’ve authored
  • They see what’s written on your business card
  • They receive a copy of your CV and read the covering letter
  • They get a note from you and spot your handwriting
Sometimes they’ll pick up clues via auditory channels:
  • They speak to you on the phone
  • They get your voicemail message
  • They ask, “Hi, how are you?” and listen to your reply
  • They overhear you talking to someone else
  • They take part in a conference call with you
  • They Skype you
  • They meet with you either one-to-one or in a larger group
  • They listen to your elevator pitch
  • They hear the ringtone on your mobile
  • They pick up an accent and gauge your voice’s tone and strength
  • They notice how much you talk versus how much you listen
They might also pick up clues via physical channels:
  • They clock the car you drive up in
  • They note your timekeeping: turning up for meetings, responding to messages, meeting deadlines
  • They check out the clothes and shoes you’re wearing
  • They scrutinise your accessories: your watch, bag, pen, pad, mobile, other technology
  • They assess your hairstyle and make-up
  • They judge your levels of hygiene and physical fitness
  • They feel the pressure of your handshake
  • They interpret eye contact and body language
  • They survey the state of your desk
  • They look at your LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook photos

The great news for promoting yourself is that each of those examples is opportunity knocking, because each is a channel through which you can send conscious yet subtle messages that show you, and your brand, in a positive light.  And when you understand that you start to realise how easy promoting your personal brand can be.

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