In the past, I covered the subject of Professional branding quite a bit. I describe professional branding as presenting yourself in the workplace in a way that you’re taken seriously. Your professional branding statement communicates the essence of who you are in the workplace. Your brand reflects your professional reputation.
Last week, I talked about the Elevator pitch on social media and in my newsletter to Coachivate Insiders. If you haven’t seen either, do follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn and become a Coachivate Insider so you don’t miss out on more. Now, let’s talk about being more proactive about your professional brand.
This week we are ‘getting drunk’!!! 🍹
Don’t get me wrong… I’m neither a mixologist nor a bartender. What we are doing is using cocktails as a metaphor for our professional brand. If your professional brand was a cocktail (or a mocktail, if that’s your preference 😁) what would it be? Think about all the cocktails and mocktails you’ve drunk or those that you know of. On a good day, I can enjoy a chilled Mojito! For you, it may be a virgin Daiquiri, Margarita, Pina colada, Long Island or the classic Chapman.
So my point is, what drink communicates your professional brand and therefore the essence of who you are? Remember that a good mocktail or cocktail is dependent on the different proportions of ingredients it is made up of. The right amount of liquor, soda, syrup or fruit determines how great the drink is.
Now ask yourself, if my professional brand was a cocktail or mocktail, which would it be?
- What makes my cocktail unique?
- What is the composition of my cocktail?
- Who / which audience is my cocktail meant for?
- What kind of occasion (environment) is my cocktail best suited for?
You can ask all these questions about your professional brand.
For example, the Coachivate brand could be a Mojito. It contains the right amount of lime, sugar, soda, rum, ice and mint leaves. A mojito is the right amount of sweet and sour, which is how coaching can feel sometimes, because it makes you dig deep, go beyond your comfort zone and think things through. The rum, a strong component, represents how coaching gives you the strength to carry on stemming from clarity and self-awareness. The soda brings the needed balance, just as executive coaching brings that objectivity to your professional life. Finally, the touch of mint leaves represents freshness, as per the fresh perspective and insight that Coachivate brings to you.
Now it’s your turn!
What drink would your professional brand be? What are you about? How do you want to come across? If you’re engaging with people, what do they see? What are you able to deliver? These are the things that you need to have in mind when you are describing or summarizing your professional brand statement & essence. You will need to communicate that succinct description when networking, in job interviews, when delivering your elevator pitch and even on your LinkedIn profile.
Knowing your professional brand, whether using a cocktail or any other metaphor helps you to describe who you are, summarize what you are about, and be proactive about positioning yourself. When people read the summary of your professional brand, they should know who you are and immediately have an idea of what experience they’re going to get.
Remember when you taste certain drinks, you kinda savour the taste and go “hmmm, that’s nice”. It’s the same when people come in contact with your LinkedIn profile, your elevator pitch or the professional bio on your resume. It should give them an idea of what experience they’re going to get when they engage you or even hire you. Professional branding helps you own your strengths and become comfortable with your environment.
During this process of branding, you need a ‘mirror’; an accountability partner or strategic advisor who helps you ensure that you discover your key strengths, own them and align them with your environment and your profession. The same way that certain drinks are best suited for certain occasions, is the same way your strengths are best suited for certain environments. A coach can help you work that out.
I’ll leave you with some free life-changing advice a mentor once gave me.
Focus on your strengths and outsource your weaknesses.
Do not spend precious time trying to convert weaknesses into strengths. Identify your strengths, own them and make sure that they are aligned with your environment in a way that you become highly productive and influential.
Now I have to ask, what kind of cocktail are you and why? I would like to know 😊
Leave a comment below!