11 Tips for Creating a Positive Professional Image

What is Personal Branding?

When you hear branding you probably think about companies and how they promote themselves. Personal branding is similar but it is how you promote yourself and how others see you. In other words, it’s your professional image. Your brand is your name, face, and actions.

Why is Personal Branding Important for Your Image?

Have you ever seen a person work hard but they still get a bad rep? It might be because their communication skills lack or they might work themselves in circles focusing on the wrong things or they might have a bad attitude. I’ve seen many people get passed up on promotions for these very reasons. I’ve seen people get promoted even though they work half as hard as these other people because they have the right image. Image is everything and proper personal branding can help you get and maintain a good image.

What If You Have Professional Image You Don’t Like?

Even if you’ve done things to tarnish your image in the past, it’s not too late to build the image you want. Be the person you want everybody to see you as. Don’t think that because people see you as a certain type of person that you need to be that type of person. It’s never too late to change. The tips below will help you rebuild your image.

Personal Branding Examples

Below are some examples of personal branding to the point that these people are common household names. In fact, many of these people can raise the value of a company or organization just by putting their name on it. You will likely not be on their level yet but there is a lot to be learned from people that have boosted their professional image to the point that these people have.

  • Elon Musk is an entrepreneur and philanthropist that is currently CEO of Space X and Tesla but has also founded multiple other successful businesses.
  • Warren Buffet is an investor, business tycoon, and philanthropist that is currently the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and is one of the richest people in the world.
  • Donald Trump is an entrepreneur, investor, and current president. Love him or hate him he has one of the most recognizable names and faces.
  • Michael Jordan is of course one of the greatest basketball players to ever live. Many people have and still look up to him as a role model decades after he retired from the game. He was a vital piece in fueling the growth of Nike and multiple other companies he endorsed.

Tips for Creating a Positive Professional Image and Personal Brand

1.     Be You

Trying to be something you’re not can be mentally exhausting. Be yourself and don’t try to be something else. Everyone can spot someone that’s fake from a mile away. That doesn’t mean to not be professional, you should always be professional. There may be times where you have to be political and do things you don’t want to do but that shouldn’t stop you from being you.

If there are qualities you don’t like about yourself, change them. Don’t try to hide them work on changing them for the better. For more information on building leadership qualities click the link.

2.     Be Consistent

You can do a million things right but one blunder can significantly hurt your image and personal brand. I’m not saying you can’t mess up because no one is perfect and you will make mistakes. How you handle those mistakes is crucial to your professional image. Consistency is key even when you mess up. You have to own your mistakes and learn from them.

3.     Have Confidence

Be confident in yourself and your abilities. When you feel your confidence starts to waiver just relax a little bit and focus on displaying confidence. If you are not a confident person, this is one of those things where you may have to fake it until it becomes a reality.

Your body language says a lot about your confidence. Standing up straight and holding your head high shows confidence. For more information about body language check out this article on mastering your communication skills.

4.     Accept and Overcome Setbacks

Like stated above, mistakes and setbacks are inevitable. You have to accept the fact that you are not perfect. The best thing you can do is try your best and when setbacks happen look for a way to get over them, instead of dwelling on them. Every setback and mistake is an opportunity to learn and prove your true grit. People will notice how you handle setbacks as much if not more than how you handle it when things are going right. Leaders are forged in tough times and crises.

5.     Have a Positive Impact on Others

The best way to build your personal brand is through others. If you can have a positive impact on others’ lives they will let others know about it. When other people promote you it is way more reliable than when you try to promote yourself. For instance, if a person says a restaurant is the best in town is a lot more reliable than the restaurant telling everybody they are the best in town. This will go a long way in promoting your professional image in a way that people will respect.

A sure-fire way to have a positive impact on somebody is by taking them under your wing and mentoring them. Mentorship is all about passing on the wisdom and guidance you’ve gained to help this person become successful in all aspects of life. To learn how to be an awesome mentor check out this article.

6.     Follow the Examples of Others

Look at others in your industry that have made a name for themselves. These people are great to base your efforts on. Think about how they made a name for themselves. Is it something you can reproduce in your life. Don’t try to be them but understand how they made it to where they are and how you can use that info to get your personal brand on a whole new level.

7.     Don’t Boast

Too many people think that promoting your image means telling everybody how good you are. This will often have an adverse effect. When people brag it annoys people and is really hard to believe. Let other people and your actions do the talking about how good you are.

8.     Know Your Mission and Vision

Having a strong mission and vision is essential in becoming a strong leader. When you are a strong leader people notice. Your personal brand will grow as your leadership abilities grow. Your mission is what you want to accomplish and your vision is how you want things t be in the future. To create a vision statement that will inspire you and others click here.

9.     Tell Your Story

Earlier in this article, I said not to brag but telling your story is not boasting if done correctly. Don’t hesitate to tell people who you are and what makes you, well you. Where you came from, how you became the person you are, what motivates you, and why you do the things you do. Everything that has happened to you good and bad has made you who you are and that is something to share with others. Telling your story makes you more relatable and interesting to others.

10.  Always Act Like Someone is Watching You

Try to do the right thing and act professionally even when you think nobody is looking. Don’t cut corners or break rules just because you think no one will ever find out. You never know when this will come back to bite you in the butt. Be extremely careful with what you post online. Sites like Facebook or even LinkedIn can hurt your personal brand if you post the wrong things. As a person that interviews and hires candidates, one of the first things I do after looking at resumes is search Google and Facebook to see what kind of person I’m about to interview.

11.  Give Everything 100%

When you give everything you do your all people see it. You start building a reputation for being a hard worker and someone that can be counted on. You will also be known as a person that always provides good results. Find your motivation and give whatever you’re doing 100%.

12.  Set SMART Goals

Utilize SMART goals to help you reach not only your personal branding goals but all your goals. SMART goals are great for helping build a plan on how to reach your goal. Click the link for more information on setting SMART goals.

Image Consulting Services

Many companies offer image consulting services. They can be a great help in all the aspects of professionalism like wardrobe, behavior, social media, and many other areas. Many of these websites offer information and personal coaching.

International Image Consulting

Association of Image Consults International

Jill Swanson

BJ Wilson & Company A Professional Wardrobe Consulting Firm

Conclusion

Building your professional image takes a little time but with hard work and dedication, you can have the image that speaks volumes about you. Stay focused and on target and you will have the name and face that people know and respect.

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