Personal Branding

12 August 2020 Giles Keay


Do you have to be good at sales to be able to promote yourself and your company? We don’t think so!

As recruiters, we are regularly asked by clients within the industry to source an engineer that can go out and win business. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most difficult roles to fill! The reason is, that whilst most
engineers are incredibly skilled with the technical aspects of their role, their strength is not sales, and this often leads to a disconnect. Fortunately, for you to make an impact it doesn’t always have to mean hard business development, client pitches, and sales meetings. In fact, quite the opposite. A focus on your personal brand can be equally as powerful but it is delivered by creating a strategy. This strategy, and an ongoing commitment, will make it effective.

If all employees in a company focused on their own personal brand, supported by the overall business implementing an effective marketing strategy, it can be very powerful.

“Promoting yourself in the industry and within your own organisation has massive benefits in respect to advancement and promotion or even a move to a new role.”

No matter your role within your company (or in fact even if you are not even in a permanent role and are job seeking) it is essential that you consider the impact of your personal brand and what that might mean to you
for your future.

I spoke to my three children at dinner recently and explained to them about the impact that their interactions and posts, status, likes, photos, videos, snap, story and/or a vine, can have! I lose track of the different actions you can take on social media that effectively define how everyone views you. My wife Sarah is continually reminding our kids every week about the importance of how they behave and represent themselves and how this reflects directly on the "Keay" family brand and therefore all of us.

So why is your Personal Brand so important?

The first thing to remember about personal brand is that although it has only become sociable to talk about it in the last decade, it has always been important. Your brand is demonstrated by every action you take in life,
every meeting you take, conversation you have, every email you send.... the term ‘Personal Brand’ is new but what it really means is:

" how do you want to be known and viewed and remembered by others?"

The crux of the matter comes down to two things.... Firstly, what are and how do you define your personal values. And secondly, what are your passions and how do you wish to portray them? Funnily enough, what you do
for a living and how you do it are far less important as that merely becomes the background noise, rather than why you are doing it in the first place.

Set your values, passions and prioritise them

Your values are the things that drive your life. They’re at the core of your being and you refer to them when making decisions. Maybe you don’t always refer to them, everybody makes bad decisions sometimes, but you
when you make your best decisions in life you usually consider your values.

For example, a person might have the following set of values:

  • Integrity

  • Purpose

  • Ambition

  • Thirst for knowledge

These values define the things that are most important to the person. When faced with a decision, the person would consult with their personal values. They would ask themselves what the best choice would be in
terms of the values on the list.

Passions can be both personal and professional. This will give you an idea of the things that drive your professional life, but also the things that you want to be doing when you’re not working.

For example, a person might have the following professional passions:

  • Design

  • Architecture

  • Technology

The personal passions for this person might be:

  • Family

  • Travel

  • Outdoors

Many individuals within the built environment and infrastructure industry can be introverted due to the technical attributes required for the role which can provide huge benefits in respect to the design and consulting
perspective.However, this unfortunately means that many engineers have been conditioned to stay quiet and to fall into the background. It’s safe in the background. When you’re in the background there isn’t much that can harm you, but if you’ve spent any amount of time in the background you’ve noticed that you can’t really accomplish much either.

Be unique

People and therefore clients are attracted to uniqueness. Individuals, companies and organisations that embrace uniqueness can make themselves more appealing by standing out from the crowd.

Your key to success with promoting yourself to the industry is to figure out what makes you different, learning to embrace that uniqueness and using it to get people to pay attention and to choose you over everyone
else.Think about your values and passions and whether they can make you unique and how you can use them.

So, our opinion is that you certainly don’t have to be a salesperson to be able to promote yourself and your company, but you do have to be true to yourself, be transparent and make sure you don’t hide in the background so that you can be heard and seen!

My advice to everyone is, take stock and take some time to really consider what your personal brand means to you and consider what actions you can take to ensure you create one, promote one and above all maintain
one........ Here are some top tips to make sure you have a considered approach…. Good Luck...


Top 10 Tips

  1. Set your values and passions

  2. What is your own USP (Unique Selling Points)?

  3. Use a professional head shot not a “selfie” for social media

  4. Define your audience…. There are 3 groups of people, The Person you earn money from (Your Employer), The Person that you can make money from (Your Clients) and The Person that Influences others (Industry Influencers)

  5. Identify potential online opportunities and potentially develop a blog strategy

  6. Creativity will ensure you are noticed……

  7. Ensure consistency in your messages and therefore your brand

  8. Use your network and associations to build your own credibility

  9. Find people (Industry Influencers) who are keen to engage on social media and use each other to build your brands promoting to others

  10. Handle negativity professionally, either ignore otherwise it can become a very public slanging match or if you have a strong case to counteract then professional put your position across