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  • The Top 5 Ways to Brand Yourself Inside Your Company

    Lately, there has been a raging battle, where people have lashed out at personal branding. First, we heard from Geoff Livingston (a friend), who says “I don’t care about your personal brand.” There were a lot of comments on that blog for and against personal branding. Then, Mitch Joel, a personal branding advocate chimed in, telling people that they need to care more about their personal brand. Finally, Pete Kistler, an up-and-coming personal branding evangelist, summarized the arguments in a nice post.

    I’ve already gone over the top 5 personal branding myths and feel that some people just have a lack of understanding on this topic, and are afraid of it, so they go against it. Personal branding is NOT all about you. Personal branding is for everyone and you simply don’t have a choice, whether to brand yourself or not, because you’ve already been branded since birth.

    You know where I stand (it’s pretty obvious), so I’d rather give you a post that positions personal branding as beneficial to corporate America, so you understand that this process isn’t just for consultants. Sure, you can brand yourself to get a job, but a lot of people have difficulty succeeding in the workplace. Just because you get the job, you certainly aren’t off the hook! The following are five proven ways for you to successfully brand yourself within a company.

    1) Become the go-to personal for a specific skill or expertise

    If you’re a millennial, this tip should be easy to implement, especially if you work in a workplace, where there aren’t many other millennials. People our age grew up in an ocean of technology, fabricated with text messaging, instant messaging, VOIP and much more. We also are very computer savvy, so when someone needs help with Excel, PowerPoint or blogging, we should jump in the air and say “I can help you.” You want to become known for something (brand yourself), so that when people need help in a specific area, your name pops into their head.

    2) Dress the part

    What you wear in an interview might be different than working at the company. Depending on your style, the companies culture and the day-of-the-week, you may dress differently. Also, a factor is the nature of your job. For instance, engineers typically wear t-shirts and jeans (I lived with one last year). Startup companies are usually more flexible, especially web 2.0 ones (the Facebook founder wears sandals). If you do sales for a Fortune 500 company, you are probably going to wear a suit. Be conscious of how people dress in your role and dress the part.

    image provided by lumaxart.com

    If you find yourself taking all the credit for your projects and isolating your team members, you are clearly doing something wrong. The best brands in the workplace thrive on helping the team succeed. You will benefit by being a good team-player by forging stronger relationships with colleagues and by the results you will obtain through your overall effort. People will want to work with you on your next big project if you treat them right and you follow-through on commitments.

    4) Blog on behalf of your company

    There are a lot of people who blog about their position or on their expertise, as it relates to their company. I rarely do this because this blog was built to be the HQ of personal branding worldwide (#1 resource for you), and not a corporate blog. I do, however, blog about interesting things going on at work as they relate to personal branding, such as how we’ve used social media to build EMC’s brand and how our employer brand is very attractive. Richard Binhammer (DELL), Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester and winner of the Gold Personal Brand Award of 2008), Bill Marriott (Marriott), and Richard Edelman (Edelman) are great examples of corporate spokespeople who are blogging for their company. Blogging for your company can help get the word out and, from the corporate perspective, it’s not costing them a dime! You will also establish fame and reputation inside your company and it could boost your career.

    5) Make your manager look like a rockstar

    In general, one of the reasons I’ve been successful is because I’ve helped make other people successful first. This is the ultimate way to make a name for yourself. I’ll be talking about this for years to come. When it comes to branding yourself within a company, the first person you need to make successful is your manager. Good managers will give you credit on your work and talk you up to their manager (typically a director). By doing quality work, your manager has heavily artillery when venturing into the executive jungle. If he gets a bonus, raise, promotion or some other special recognition, you better believe it will work in your favor.


    Dan Schawbel is the Managing Partner of Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin’s Press) and the #1 international bestselling book, Me 2.0: 4 Steps to Building Your Future (Kaplan Publishing), which combined have been translated into 15 languages.

    Posted in Career Development, Personal Branding, Success Strategies
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    8 comments on “The Top 5 Ways to Brand Yourself Inside Your Company
    1. avatar
      Nisha says:

      Good post. I have been reading some of those other blogs and it has been really interesting to see the back and forth debate over personal branding. I can see why some people are afraid of personal branding, think it’s self-promotion, etc. But the thing I think they are missing is that if you don’t brand yourself, you’ll get branded by others, and who wants to let that happen?

    2. avatar
      Dan Schawbel says:

      @Nisha – You are very correct. People need to decide if they want to be left hopeless in the dust or rise to the top.

    3. avatar
      Tracey says:

      Seems to me like the difference Geoff Livingston cites between “reputation” and “brand” are just semantics. I view a “brand” as something much more substantive (whether it’s a personal or corporate brand). A brand is a promise you deliver. In fact, Wikipedia says:

      “Brand recognition and other reactions are created by the accumulation of experiences with the specific product or service…. A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company, product or service.”

      Defined as such, personal branding matters. It is inseparable from reputation. A brand is not just a logo and a set of colors.

    4. avatar
      Yinka olaito says:

      Dan, I quite agree with you, but sometimes i think dressing the part may not holds through. I have a friend who is a structural engineer and works with a consultin structural firm. The official culture is to dress like an Engineer to office: jeans and shirt. But I counseled him against that by telling him to dress corporately to the office and carry site wears(jeans) to office.

      I told him to wear jeans only to their sites and dress properly in office. This pay off.When the company wanted to move some engineers to management position he was the choice because they thought he could represent them better.
      so I ask, what do you mean fressing the part?

    5. avatar
      Louisa says:

      I think you offer some really great advice. I work as a recruiter in Boston for Hollister (www.hollisterstaff.com/?=451) and try to emphasize the importance of personal branding to my clients. I love your tip about becoming the go-to for a specific skill.. talk about a great way to differentiate yourself! Thanks for the post!

    6. avatar

      This is really a good and interesting post. All the facts are really refined and indeed an excellent post!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    7. avatar

      Great Post!

      Personal Branding is so important and needs to be something that anyone in business needs to be aware of and focusing on.


    8. avatar
      Chris says:

      Looks like you’re missing the title for tip 3? Probably should read “Help the Team Succeed.”

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    3. […] The Top 5 Ways to Brand Yourself Inside Your Company – Dan Schawbel (Personal Branding Blog) I think that when a lot of people think about personal branding they think about me, me, me. The reason I included this particular post from Dan this month is that 3 of his 5 reasons emphasize how personal branding can really benefit others including your team, your company and your boss. Certainly they all help your own personal brand as well, but remember that the best brands thrive on helping the team succeed and that the first person you need to make successful is your manager. […]

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