Personal branding for women requires a different approach
According to Connie Glaser, author and women’s leadership expert, societal expectations for female behaviour promote modesty and collaboration, but these characteristics don’t necessarily lead to professional advancement. This requires actions closely associated with standing out from the crowd rather than blending in, by being able to identify, articulate and promote our USPs.
It’s personal brand, not personal bland.
We know that women are competitive and are more than willing to be highly visible in all sorts of other arenas (homes, husbands, kids, recipes, gardens, b.m.i.) But how can women overcome this reluctance to self-promote professionally and develop a badly needed personal brand, which for many doesn’t come naturally?
Snow boarding is a learned skill. So are driving and dancing. But women do learn how to do all three.
Women can also learn the process of personal branding
Tasteful self – promotion
It’s not necessary to stand on a soap box proclaiming brilliance to the world. Women can do some or all of the following to promote their success stories:
5 personal branding tips for women
- Self-insight : Women need to be able to identify, recall and articulate those successes, both on demand and even when not requested. There are no short cuts.
- Use powerful vocabulary: there is no need to appear boastful. If you ran a team of 100, or closed a deal worth several million – simply say that. It’s not necessary to embellish by telling people what a great sales person or manager you are – that will now be evident. Powerful action words such as led, ran, created, drove, initiated, generated, leveraged should feature regularly in self- evaluations. If in doubt just give numbers.
- Harness modern technology: women are great at building relationships and should leverage these to generate recommendations for their LinkedIn profiles, creating websites showing testimonials and by keeping copies of any complimentary emails and performance reviews for future use.
- Accept praise and compliments graciously: bite your lip on lines such as “it was nothing ” or “it was a team effort” or ” I got lucky“. It is OK to say “I worked really hard and am very proud of the result.” Don’t forget we create our own luck. There maybe no “I” in team, but there is definitely an “I” in fired.
- Create a strategic network. Extending brand reach by widening your reputation. Set up a professional profile on a platforms such as LinkedIn, Xing or Viadeo. Tap into your Facebook network for professional purposes as well as social relationships. Being known as a strong resource will be always be helpful. Find people to support, sponsor and mentor you, not just to chat to! Return the favour. Let people around you know what your goals are and that you are ambitious.
Women also have to be prepared to ask for support. They seek specialist advice from others in every area imaginable: physical fitness, snowboarding, their nails, health issues, styling, children and marriage guidance, but place far less emphasis on professional support.
This is an additional barrier which needs tackling.
If you need help strengthening your Personal Brand – get in touch NOW!
Thanks for raising this important issue Dorothy, getting the balance right can be a challenge. Those little insecurities we have about image in the workplace slip silently into a corner of our consciousness and niggle away. Are we being tasteful, will people think we are bragging – how will we prove we did it in the nicest possible way? It is hard to think of the majority of our males colleagues dealing with the same thoughts. As you suggest it is a skill and then of course practice, practice, practice!
Hi wendy – thanks for your comment. Yes I do believe tasteful self promotion is an easily learned skill which like driving, dancing or snowboarding just needs practise!
Hello Dorothy, this is a very refreshing article. Do you have further advice about decent, self-promotion when female executives work in male-dominated industries? Regards, Maria
Hi Maria thanks for kind words. Many of my posts are threaded with pratical advice for women and over turning stereotypcial myths. If you find yourself in Brussels on March 22nd, 3Plus is holding a mini-mentoring event http://www.3plusinternational.com/events/
Worth the detour!
Personal branding: 5 tips for women
Nice One…infact very informative…
So true Dorothy it is often hard for a woman to brand herself professionally when our nature is often not self promotion
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