A strong, cohesive brand is a vital part of an organization’s success. The brand shapes the company’s audience, goals, and offerings and influences its path forward.

Building a brand is also important for individuals. When you develop your personal brand, you are able to reflect on what makes you uniquely you – and how your skills, experiences, and characteristics are valuable to others.

But how do you define your personal brand? Start by following these three steps.

  1. Identify your essential skills and characteristics.

Give yourself room for self-reflection. What are your biggest strengths? What do you do that sets you apart from other people? How would your friends or colleagues describe you? Brainstorm a list of traits – soft or hard skills – writing down everything that comes to mind and highlighting those that you feel are most important to your identity.

  1. Show your qualities in action.

Drawing from the list you just made, apply your traits to different scenarios in your professional life. How do you use your strengths to benefit your team or organization? What’s an example of a time when you employed your skills to reach a goal or solve a problem? Make a bulleted list with short statements such as:

  • I use my communication skills to manage my direct reports, making sure they’re clear on expectations and measures of success.
  • In my last job, my project management experience was valuable planning our biggest product launch of the year; I kept three different departments on track.
  1. Write a short personal brand statement.

Companies try to identify their unique selling proposition (USP). Do the same for yourself. What value do you provide? For whom? What do you offer that no one else can? Sum up this personal brand statement in one to three sentences. Think of it as an elevator pitch that gives your audience insight into who you are and what you do. Make it as specific and personal as possible.

For example: “I work as a liaison between executive leaders and IT teams to define project parameters and deliverables that move the company’s annual goals forward. I use my excellent communication, technical, and project management skills to keep projects on time, under budget, and as efficient as possible.”

Once you have started to develop your personal brand, practice sharing it with others – at work or networking events, with friends and family. Position yourself as someone with the right knowledge and expertise to deliver solutions in your industry.

Looking for opportunities to share your personal brand and connect with like-minded individuals? Learn about the professional benefits of joining the Think IT Association.