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Building Your Professional Brand

Coming from a commercial marketing background with global beauty brands L’Oréal and Avon I’ve always been fascinated by branding. Over the years I’ve adapted my ‘professional brand’ from marketing products, to coaching others to market themselves better. Knowing how to build and articulate your professional brand is essential in any career conversations, and ultimately leads to more fulfilled and rewarding career progression.

It’s not only about ‘self-promotion,’ which can be short term, tactical and sometimes perceived as inauthentic. This is about building long term trust in your professional brand. It’s linked to your performance, where you add value, and what you deliver for your organisation.

Here’s a summary of my tips on what makes a strong professional brand and how to adapt it for future career transition.

  • Building trust and consistency is key. We all have a reputation. It’s about aspiring to be the best version of you in every interaction you have. What you deliver in terms of performance is equally important. Think of ‘professional branding’ as an equation: Performance + Behaviour = Reputation


  • Start with your strengths and values. These are the foundations of your professional brand and for informing your career decisions. There are many sources to uncover your strengths including free and reasonably priced online tools, reviewing previous performance reviews and 360 feedback. There’s a significant correlation between strengths and energy; so have a think about what really energises you at work and it is likely to be one of your strengths. Knowing and demonstrating what is really important to you (your purpose, beliefs and values) are also key pillars of your professional brand.


  • Know your target audience and seek out feedback from trusted peers, mentors, and colleagues: What you are known as the ‘go to person’ for? and how does this match with what you aspire to be the ‘go to person’ for? Remember your professional brand is only as strong as what people say about you when you leave the room. This type of feedback is also valuable to share in career conversations, particularly for those of you who struggle with the concept of ‘selling yourself’. It’s much easier to say, ‘my boss said that I…or… I’ve been told that…’ it feels more like factual evidence than ‘self-promotion.’


  • Attention to detail with every marketing channel. How does what you wear, your image, your LI profile, or even your ‘virtual background’ align with your professional brand? Is it consistent with what your target audience wants to see from you?  If you are wanting to be known in a certain field, or as a leader in a certain area, then how are your LinkedIn posts demonstrating that credibility?


  • Take a step by step approach to changing your professional brand. If you are planning to make a career change, or step up into a higher level leadership position, it takes time to build trust and credibility with your new ‘audience’ of stakeholders. It does not happen overnight. You have to immerse yourself fully in this new area, and it won’t be a linear path. Remember step by step you are building trust and consistency in your professional brand. Many people adapt their professional brand over the years but in general their foundations of strengths and values remain consistent.


  • Your trusted network is critical to success. You can learn and gain so much about your professional brand from your network. Who do you want to be associated with? Do they share the same values as you? Do you encourage and support each other? Your network should consist of mutually beneficial relationships – do not forget thank those who have supported you along your career journey, and be ready to offer others your support too. You should be actively, and consistently building your network, and nurturing relationships on a regular basis – particularly in these times where the opportunities to meet and chat in a cafeteria, by the water cooler, and large networking events are more limited.


If you have any questions about ‘professional branding’ or you’d like to find out more about how we can help you build and adapt your professional brand for a career change then please  get in touch.