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Developing a strong brand identity and professional image is a lifelong pursuit and achievement. Yet there is no one size fits all approach to building an authentic personal brand if you want to stand out, make your mark and grow your influence as a market leader.
But the good news is there are some benchmarks you can use to measure your brand success to keep you on track and help you identify any weaknesses. You can then create a brand and leadership development plan to strengthen your personal brand value in critical areas that need it the most.
Benchmarks To Measure If Your Brand Is On Track
In this article I share some key career challenges and decade markers you can use to measure if you are on track.
Starting Out Building Your Brand As A Women In Business In Your 20’s
Whether you are starting as a young professional, apprentice, business owner, or aspiring entrepreneur, you should begin building a strong brand identity and professional image at an early age. When you are in your early 20’s one of the first things to establish is the niche market you wish to dominate and the area of specialisation you want to master. The market rewards specialisation, so it is profitable for you to build your competence, abilities, and leadership skills in highly specialised niche markets or industries.
Successful Brand Positioning
Hone in on the market trends for your niche market or industry in the future. Think of the next ten years, not just the next 12 months. Start thinking about your personal brand and professional positioning early in your career, looking for opportunities to learn and grow in areas that will bring more significant opportunities for the future.
Crafting a profitable personal brand is all about standing out from the crowd, amplifying your superpowers (or unique points of difference), and offering value to your target audience, clients, customers, or the organisation.
Understanding and identifying a niche or even a micro-niche market is how you will position yourself as the go-to professional or leader in your industry. The one people, businesses or organisations are vying to work with (and for!) and will happily pay a premium for your products or services.
It’s Never Too Late To Identify Your Niche Market Or Ideal Target Audience.
Niching down is a concept that many professionals, business owners, and female entrepreneurs can struggle with the most, no matter the age or stage of their careers or businesses. And this may sound like you too.
You may struggle with the idea of pursuing a specific niche market or target audience and feel like you must try to be all things to all people. You may also have a massive fear of missing out on potential customers or clients if you decide to niche down.
But here’s the truth. You will gain so much more power and impact by dominating a smaller market to position yourself as the go-to leader of choice. You will be able to establish greater authority, recognition, influence and financial reward as a big fish in a smaller pond rather than spending years swimming around as a small fish in an ocean of other people just like you!
As A Professional Woman In Your 30’s, It’s All About Building Your Influence
When you hit your 30’s as a professional woman, it’s time to start building your influence, growing your networks and making meaningful and lasting connections.
This is the stage of your career where influence can catapult your career or business prospects to the next level. At this stage in your career or business it’s not just about what you know but about who you know and who knows YOU.
Building relationships with internal and external stakeholders is the key to benchmarking your brand success in your 30’s. It would help if you started to create a brand strategy to grow your circle of influence and a networking and stakeholders connection plan that gets you noticed in the right ways by the right people.
If networking seems daunting to you, you must break through any mental barriers to begin nurturing relationships, finding ways to be of value to others, and making lasting connections that matter.
Growing your influence is one of your greatest assets as a female leader and should not be underestimated. If you have been working hard for years but are still struggling to be seen, heard, and noticed as a leader in your industry, now is the time to strategically grow your influence with key stakeholders and other industry leaders or market influencers.
In Your 40’s You Must Learn The Power Of Your Brand Story
I love coaching and mentoring professional women over 40! Because this is both the most rewarding and challenging time of our careers as women leaders!
At this stage of our lives and careers, most of us have experienced some tremendous successes and triumphs and some massive failures! We’ve spent years working hard in our professional careers to become highly qualified and experts in our field, but still haven’t nailed precisely what makes us unique, stand out and feel genuinely empowered as female leaders.
This is the time when you must start to unlock the power of your story to strengthen your brand and image.
Your brand story and experience will distinguish you from others in your field, amplify who you are and what you stand for and reveal your core values and beliefs.
At 40, many women often feel stuck as they begin to feel marginalised as women leaders in a man’s world and have spent years overemphasising their skills under emphasising their unique insights, wisdom, relationships and influence. But the truth is your vision, values and relationships matter as much as your performance and KPI’s, if not more.
At 50 Women Leaders Should Live and Lead From A Place Of Passion And Purpose.
If you are over 50 and have landed here, you will know that we feel an individual right of passage once we hit the big 5 – 0h! It is a personal milestone to be celebrated to most of us, but it is also one that most women leaders try to brush under the carpet in our professional lives!
If you’re nodding along right now, then I am about to bust that myth! Turning 50 doesn’t have to mean it’s all over for you in your career or business. In fact, from a personal brand and leadership perspective, this can be your most empowering and profitable success zone!
As mature age professionals and female leaders, this is the optimal time to build your brand personality, authority and position yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
You will experience the most growth and prosperity in your career or business by learning to leverage your passion, purpose and power. Knowing what lights you up, what motivates you, and inspires you helps you look to the future with greater vision and live true to your values and beliefs.
From a personal branding perspective, unlocking your wisdom will see you step into your voice and thrive as a more empowered and confident leader.
Having a positive growth and success mindset at 50 and beyond is as much a part of your brand and success as your influence and recognition, especially in today’s marketplace that highly values leaders who can pivot, learn, grow, and adapt to changes in the market.
You are also in your prime to share your wisdom, knowledge and experience with others, acting as a mentor or advisor when you can.
Remember that it’s never too late to achieve your goals! So this is the time to stay current and spread your wings by creating and publishing content, sharing your ideas in your thought leadership space and stepping up as the leader you want to be.
So What’s Next To Grow Your Personal Brand And Leadership?
You can use these career milestones to identify your strengths and weaknesses to benchmark your brand and leadership success. And if you’re serious about amplifying your brand, to leverage from your years of experience and expertise, you can check out the Woman of Confidence Personal Brand Accelerator Course and take the next step to level up your brand.
Other Useful Links And Resources:
How to Craft A Leadership Style That Gets You Noticed
Unlock Your Personal Brand’s Superpowers + Personal Brand Superpowers Checklist
How To Craft A Powerful Leadership Style That Gets You Noticed! + 5-Step Leadership Style Worksheet
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To your success,