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Some people object to personal branding out of a vague sense that it’s somehow sleazy or phony to manage your image. But it’s simply unwise to stand by passively waiting for others to recognize your value. There’s a close link between achieving your goals and the strategic, continual reinvention of your personal brand.

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1. Tap the wisdom of the crowd: The first step in reinventing your personal brand to be more compelling and relevant to your target audience is to gain deeper insight into how others currently see you. Don’t hesitate to conduct your own 360° interviews. The feedback you collect from others will reveal how you come across to others, notably your weaknesses, which will help you to create a relevant list of new goals to achieve.

2. Develop the new skills you need for your reinvention through training and/or with help from mentors. What’s the right path for you – returning to school or on-the-job learning? When your goals require mandatory technical training or certification (such as becoming a lawyer or acupuncturist), you need to return to school. But, otherwise, it’s usually wisest to consider school a last resort: “It’s your demonstrated expertise—not your academic credentials—that count in the business world.”

3. Share your new brand with the world: All the work you put into reinventing yourself won’t go far if others don’t recognize the changes you’ve made. Stand out by leveraging your points of difference and specific, unique skillset. Ask yourself: “what do I have that my competitors don’t?”
Make sure to tell your story in a convincing way – without a clear narrative, people won’t understand what’s changed or why.

How Deloitte supports employee personal branding
At Deloitte, personal branding is viewed as an organizational, not just an individual, responsibility. Which is why at Deloitte University, the company’s world-class learning and leadership center, personal branding is included as a key focus of all learning programs.

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Reinvent your personal brand

Based on Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future by Dorie Clark (Harvard Business Press, April 2013), “The power of storytelling: What nonprofits can teach the private sector about social media,” by Dan Singer (McKinsey Quarterly, February 2011); “How to Give a Killer Presentation,” by Chris Anderson (Harvard Business Review, June 2013); and an interview with Diana O’Brien, Managing Principal, Deloitte University, and Principal, Deloitte Consulting, LLP (June 2013).
Business Digest nº 238, July-August 2013.

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Building a personal brand

Jacob Cass, a New York-based graphic designer, explains the importance of personal branding using his personal experiences.