There are infinite ways that we can reinforce our professional identity or personal brand. Here are 5 of the most direct and specific ways that you can reinforce your professional identity starting right now. Let’s start with the most direct: (1) your self introduction. There’s also (2) speaking up in meetings, (3) demonstrating thought leadership, (4) mentoring, teaching, and learning, and (5) being active and visible. 

 

 

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TRANSCRIPT

This episode is going to be a little different from most of the other Talk about Talk podcast episodes that you may have heard. The topic of today’s episode was inspired by a question that I received at a Q&A question and answer period that I held just earlier this week. This Q&A was hosted on LinkedIn Live and the topic was establishing your professional identity and your personal brand. Some of my favorite topics right? Let me tell you what this particular question was. The question from one of the viewers was. Andrea. How do I broadcast my brand? Pretty simple question, right? I had an answer immediately and this answer is the truth. It’s my truth and it’s this. I am obsessed. Listing categorizing infinite number. Broadcast. We’re communicating directly through our words and interacting. We’re also communicating constantly online and in person. The number of ways that we broadcast. Looking for something? And that’s when I decided to listen to the podcast episode today. Podcast episode, I’m going to answer the question. I’m gonna share with you 5 specific and significant ways you can reinforce your personal brand or your professional, starting right now. Are you ready? 

Welcome to Talk about Talk Podcast Episode #156 Five ways to reinforce your Professional identity. In case we haven’t met, my name is Doctor Andrea. Wojnicki please just call me. I’m your executive communication. I coach and business executives like you to improve their communication skills so you can communicate with confidence and clarity. Credibility. And then you can create impact, ultimately achieving your career goals. Sound good? If you want to learn more, check out talk about talk.com. I’ve got lots and lots of resources for you there. I’ve got one-on-one coaching. There’s boot camps, information about corporate workshops. Archive of this bi weekly podcast and when you’re there, I really hope to sign up for my Body weekly newsletter. There is an archive of this biweekly podcast, and while you’re at talkabouttalk.com, I really hope you’ll sign up for my e-mail newsletter. That newsletter is your chance to get free communication program from me. Sound good? 

Alright, let’s get into this. Here’s how this episode is going to go. Then I mean a lot on my original answer to this question of how do we broadcast our brand And then I’m going to share with you 5 specific. And significant ways that you can reinforce your personal brand. So we’re going to get a little more actionable here. 

Alright, first defining a personal brand. If you’ve been following the Talk About Talk podcast or receiving the newsletter. You might be familiar with this, but I’m going to say it again. Your personal brand is your identity or your reputation. You can almost use those as synonyms. Fantastic definition of your personal brand that I like to use. It’s more like a mental exercise, he says. Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room. Now, of course you have a brand when you are in the room. This is more, as I said, like a mental exercise. So imagine some important stakeholders. Maybe your boss and bosses boss, or if you’re in entrepreneur, maybe it’s an investor or collaborator is talking about you. Your name comes up in conversation when you’re not in the room. What are those people thinking and saying about you? That is your personal brand and your professional identity. We can do things to strategically optimize what it is. 

 

So my definition. Yourself. There’s really two elements of this right It’s being yourself. So you’re always authentic and true to ourselves. We’re not inventing something and we’re certainly not being dishonest. It is authentic and true. We are being ourselves. The second part of this definition is that we’re doing this on purpose. We are offering no apologies for the fact that we’re being strategic and disciplined about controlling our narrative and making sure that we are presenting our ideal or optimized personal brand. 

 

So what’s the difference between a personal brand and a professional identity? I just want to clarify this a little bit. So. In the work that I do with executives, I use these two words synonymously. Personal brand is your reputation or identity, and it includes your whole self. On the other hand, your professional identity is also your whole self. But look through the lens. Of your career or your profession, or what you do for a living. So you may prioritize some of your more professional endeavors and activities and accomplishments ahead of more personal things, but those are still part of alright as I said before it is your whole self. 

 

So we’ve got that out of the way. We have defined personal brand. 

 

When I’m coaching folks on establishing their personal brand, we have a process that we follow 2 main steps. Step one. Instep T is communicating. So I always say that what may differentiate the way I post personal branding versus other personal branding coaches is I focused way way more on step one. I’ve seen countless, countless examples consistently of where executives are focusing on establishing the unique identity. And before you skip to the second step of communicating your brand, it’s really important that we nail that. So we typically spend about 75% of our time, give or take, on the step. One which is creating or articulating your brand  then we move over into Step 2 which is communicating your personal brand. This by the way. Was the question that I received in the Q&A session where the gentleman said, Andrea. How do we broadcast our personal brand? This was. Step two of the process. This is the communication step. My answer, as I said earlier in this episode, was that there are infinite, yes infinite ways that we communicate our personal brand. I’ve become sort of obsessed over the last several years in creating this list and making it as complete as I can. For the purpose of the workshops that I do and the coaching of executives that I do, I’ve put this list into a two by two. So it’s like a two by two matrix like they do in consulting, where on one dimension of the matrix We’re looking at considering the direct versus the indirect or implicit ways that we communicate. So let me just define what I mean by that. The direct ways that we communicate our brand are through words, right? You are explicitly using words, whether it’s verbal or written, to share your strengths. Your expertise, your superpowers, and so on. So that’s direct. And then indirectly also communicating your personal brand through things like. Background. How you dress, your hair, your tone of voice, your punctuality, These are all signals that other people are interpreting about you to identify what your personal brand is. Sometimes. Do all of all out there trying to identify and decipher what other people are all about. So we’re looking for signals to force the judgment. You gotta do all of this so we’ve got the direct versus. I’m making that that’s a different colour in person and online. So when we’re in person, we can see. The person’s body is body language and so on, and there are many things that crossover those. But you can think of start cooking until you got all of it ready to go, thinking about and maybe even brainstorming different ways that you can or as this gentleman said. Broadcast our personal brand, again, Direct. Lettuce if you want, but online and in person. So that was the answer that I gave this general in the Q&A. 

A little bit about not providing him with a real. Different ways. While I’m prepping this episode, I had to cook, no. Once I have professional identity. Eat chicken. Hundreds and hundreds, maybe thousands of executives on how to establish your personal brand. These are the ones that seem to get a lot of traction. I’m going to read them first and then I’m going to elaborate on them. 

 

So the first one is you rself introduction, the second one is speaking up in meetings and how you do that the third one is demonstrating thught leadership. The 4th one is mentoring, teaching and learning, and the last one is being active and visible. Elaborate now on each of those four things. 


1. YOUR SELF INTRODUCTION


Yourself Introduction And I think I did actually say this at the LinkedIn Live earlier this week. Yourself introduction is unquestionably the most direct way for you to reinforce your personal brand. Let me say that again yourself. Introduction is the most direct way for you to reinforce your personal brand or your professional identity. Why is this? Well. Very often yourself introduction is the first impression, and we know that first impressions are very important impressions, right? So there’s that, there’s the significance of it. It’s also coming from you. So it’s highly credible and it’s true words which are direct words the issues. So how could any other format of communicating any other media, any other broadcast media? Anymore direct than your very own self introduction. 

 

I can guess what some of you were thinking. I was already introductions. Now I’m really, really nervous about myself. Introductions. The number one talk about talk podcast episodes of all time in terms of downloads is episode #86, Simple framework to introduce yourself. I’m going to teach it to right now. They quickly if you’ve already heard it, this is just a review and I want you to still follow along. So the three steps for you. Introduce yourself with confidence that you can customize for any context. Is this present? Past, future? Present, past, future. It is not chronological. Let me quickly take you through what this what this framework is step #1. Present tense. Hi, my name is Doctor Andrea Wojnicki and I’m an Executive communication I hope. This. Positive future oil, ideally related to the person that you’re meeting. So you could say, I’m really looking forward to this kickoff meeting. I know we’re gonna rock this project or and now I’d really like to learn more about you or say write a networking event at a conference. I’m really looking forward to getting to know people including all of this.

Yourself Introduction. As I said. Most direct way that you have to win four Super. Present past that. It’s not last. Sharing your autobiography or biography not starting from when you were born. Start with the present. Go back. Establish credit. Steps.  in the present. Step one for present tense. So sometimes when I’m introducing myself, I’ll say. Audience. Even with. So we’re going to move on. Number one, most direct an important way to enforce the personal brand. Self introduction. If you haven’t already listened to episode #86 and talk about talk podcasts, I encourage you to do so. And as you listen to it, ask yourself what would I say about myself into these three steps that’s gonna help me reinforce my professional identity? Alright,

moving on in our list. 


2. HOW YOU SPEAK UP IN MEETINGS

2nd way to reinforce your professional idea. Earlier today. Smart, young manager and he said that he sometimes feels a little bit tongue tide in meetings. He said. I generally in very well prepared, but sometimes inevitably things come up in the meetings that I haven’t prepared for and I feel like I don’t know what to say. And I said to him, listen. Your personal brand. Look at before you go into the meeting and then for every feeling not sure what to say. On the experience. And this is this is my. When it comes to meetings and reinforcing the personal brand, there are several. Almost like starting your comments in meetings, for example, you could say. Based on my background in statistic marketing, I have a suggestion, right? So what you’re doing is you’re anchoring your comments, in your legitimate authentic background. Your expertise. Which reminds me of the second queue, which is. Expertise in. So as an academic, I can say based on my expertise in marketing or based on my expertise in consumer behavior, whatever or you could say based on my experience, but this is a great one, you could say based on my experience in the project that we did last quarter or based on my recent experience with a similar client, right? And suddenly people are leaning in ’cause it’s almost like an objective way. It’s almost like an objective way of identifying. Reinforcing your categorizing or you’re labeling what your own expertise is to everybody else in the room. I hope that makes sense. My point is this. You don’t have to answer every question that comes up. When you’re speaking up in meetings with a definitive answer, you can narrow your answer in terms of the context of your personal brand or your professional identity. So if you’ve taken the time to articulate and create, establish your personal brand. No, in your mind. When you’re speaking up in meetings. People again, by saying based on my background, based on my expertise or based on my experience, I know it works. I’ve done it myself and I’ve coached many, many people have done so successfully. Alright, so we are onto number that we’ve covered self introduction and we covered reinforcing your professional identity by speaking up in meetings, 

 

3. DEMONSTRATING THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

the third one is demonstrated thought leadership. So. Once you’ve taken the time to identify and articulate. The elements Various themes of your personal brand, including your expertise. It’s time to establish thought leadership in a recent podcast episode I Interviewed. Roger Martin, my past boss at the University of Toronto, very succinctly highlighted that there’s a difference between private and public thought leadership, and I think this is this is important to note here. You don’t necessarily need to become a public thought leader, although you may want to. And I encourage you to do so. But you definitely, if you are a leader, needs to at least be a private thought leader. Private Being internal to your firm, people need to know what your expertise is. And I’m not just talking about being the CEO at all levels of leadership. We should have a stake in the ground in terms of what our thought leadership is really, really important. So how do we do so? well? Actually my previous suggestion of reinforcing your personal brand by how you speak up in meetings literally. Define what your comment is in terms of establishing the thought leadership, right. You’re saying my expertise based on my expertise, based on my experience. That’s you identifying font leadership is. So it could be just speaking up in meetings. It also could be writing papers. You can post things on LinkedIn you can. share articles, you can podcast, you can public speaking you can get a panel right. Just think about the multiple media that you have to share thought leadership. And I have a little secret for you here that never crossed my mind until maybe a couple years ago. And that is the people that. Are also not afraid to share other people’s thoughts. Other words, it’s not just writing and thinking it came from you, but also secondly, I notice that one thought leader that I admire very much, Adam Grant, does this a lot. Yes, on to his podcast. And he also recommends groups by people that you might think are direct or at least in direct. Competitors of his is so focused on establishing thought leadership and sharing his insights with others, he welcomes it. So here’s Leadership. It’s not just your own thought leadership. You can also share other people’s thought leadership. How exactly do this? You’re probably wondering. Here’s an easy one on LinkedIn. If you find a post written by someone else or maybe an article. Share it to your community or network on social media and say here’s a great article about like I do this here’s a great article about personal branding. They list 7 things. I would add an eighth right? So you’re further reinforcing your own expertise by elaborating on what the other person said and maybe. But you’re also encouraging other people to read it and you’re establishing the fact you are the go to person in that area. Alright, so I hope that’s clear covered three different ways to reinforce your professional identity. And sharing others. Broadcast. 

 

4. MENTORING, TEACHING & LEARNING

 

Your professional identity is mentoring, teaching, and learning. So. Yeah. Go to shower head. And mentoring is a very, very.  So if there is an element of your professional identity or your expertise that you think you could teach others, I encourage you to do so. This will just reinforce what your professional identity is. Let me share with you. Putting a senior partner at a global firm right now and we’ve been working on developing her personal brand. Personal brand. Right. Both culturally and individually, she’s a fantastic mentor and she’s definitely shaping the culture of the organization. So I’ve encouraged her, consistent with this 4th way of reinforcing your professional identity, to also teach other people to do the same, right? So the junior partners and the managers that are reporting to her, who also have direct reports she’s coaching them on how they can become people leaders. See how it works. Take the expertise wanna be known for and coach other people to do that and other people will see you as an expert in that domain. 

 

5. BE ACTIVE & VISIBLE

OK, on to the 5th way to reinforce your professional identity. It’s this. Be active and visible. Find what your personal. Jeff Bezos definition brand could be seen as what other noise, but it would make sense to cook all of the same thing at the same time. They might not think anything and then the person that has been around. Or is going to benefit from the right? What does this mean? Well, this is a strong argument for going into the office or meeting people for coffee, meeting people for lunches, right? Going to events. Yes, you default whenever you’re invited to a conference or meal or meeting or an event. Yesterday fault, of course, you’re not going to be able to do it all, but you want to be visible and you want to be active. And this is really important both online and offline. So honestly, I could create another infinite list from here. But made yesterday fault. All the people that you work with whenever you can. Through networking events, through social media, Right through conferences make you. Be visible. 

Alright. That’s it. That’s everything for this podcast. Episode #156. Let me review with you again here quickly the five ways to reinforce your professional identity. The challenge that I have for you is to identify which one or two of these you’re going to take action on right now so that you can improve your professional identity. Here they are again 

  • #1 your self Introduction. Remember the Framework: Present, Past, Future. And remember to integrate your professional identity in terms of those three steps. 
  • #2 is speaking up in meetings. The 3 prompts that I suggest for you are: “Bsd on my background,” “Based on my experience,” and “Based on my expertise…”
  • The 3rd way to reinforce your professional identity. Is demonstrating thought leadership in meetings, formally and informally, in person and online, publicly and privately 
  • The 4th way to reinforce your professional identity is mentoring, teaching, and learning. If you are a mentor and a teacher, you’re going to be seen as an expert and you need to continuously learn about your area of expertise. 
  • The fifth and last way to reinforce your professional identity is to be active and visible. Make your default, yes, whenever you’re invited to lunch. To a conference, to a networking event and get out there online and in person, on social media, across whatever media it is. Just say yes, be active  and visible. 

 

Alright, that’s it for this episode. If you enjoyed this episode, I hope you will refer it to one of your friends, and I also hope you’ll need a review on Apple or Spotify or YouTube or wherever. 

 

Thank you so much for listening. Talk soon.

 

2 Comments

  • Hi Andrea,
    I recently discovered your podcast while looking for something to listen to during my bike rides. After immersing myself in 3 episodes, I decided to follow your podcast channel.

    Recently, I’ve been struggling with depression, feeling the need to enhance my communication, or perhaps my language skills. I found myself bedridden for three days, consumed by my feelings. Then, the thought of your podcast crossed my mind, and I discovered your offer of 20-minute sessions for your listeners. Speaking with an expert like yourself feels necessary at this point.

    I’m genuinely eager to engage in a brief 20-minute conversation with you, diving into communication strategies to refine my skills. However, it appears that your calendar for May and June is quite full. I would sincerely appreciate your guidance on how I can still benefit from your expertise and perhaps find a starting point for my journey of improvement.

    While I am aware of the idea that I could gather and learn all the tips and tricks from your podcasts, I believe that receiving personalized feedback on my communication style would be incredibly valuable.

    If you could spare any time or provide alternative ways for me to benefit from your expertise, I would be incredibly grateful. Your insights could make a significant difference in my journey toward improvement. Thank you for considering my request, and I eagerly await any opportunity to learn from you.

    Respectfully,
    Jenny

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