Last week I started a bit of a discussion on personal branding and I’ve been surprised by the amount of positive responses I’ve had to this mini-series. Even well-established bloggers – people that I think already have a much stronger brand than I do – have been getting in touch to say how much it has helped and that they are looking forward to the next instalment. We’ve previously chatted about the ‘Secret Power of Brands’ course in my initial blog post on the subject and have discussed the first step in personal branding – answering the questions that discover “What are you passionate about?”. So I can’t keep my pals waiting any longer and here is the second set of questions for us all to attempt to answer today. Sorry for the blurry image, it has been taken from a slideshow from the UEA course I’ve just finished studying.
Today I’m going to try answering the questions below in order to address the “What are you good at?” section. Have a go at answering these questions for yourself and you’ll be another step closer to creating your own personal brand. Of course, I’m already cringing a little about sharing my achievements etc and I really don’t want my answers to sound like I’m writing responses to a job application form, but I guess these questions are designed for that very reason; to develop an understanding of our own abilities and to be able to ‘sell’ ourselves – and in some cases to create a CV – as a personal brand. So here goes…
What is your biggest strength? I’m going to say communication here. I’m not talking about simply talking, because I’m not always fantastic at small-talk and chit-chat, but I enjoy a proper conversation, a debate, an intelligent exchange. I’m good at written communication and some of my best conversations are published on this very blog. Plus I have studied Makaton for a long time, so can communicate physically too, even with those who have trouble communicating in the traditional sense. I am a great pen pal.
What is your personal superpower? Without a doubt, my personal superpower is empathy. I care deeply for other people (and even animals) and can always put myself into another person’s shoes and really feel what they are feeling. This makes me more emotional than I’d like to be at times but I’m sure that my empathetic nature has led me to develop fantastic friendships.
Why would someone work with you? I have a cheery disposition (just like Mary Poppins, eh?!) and I am also very helpful and will take time to assist others in their projects. I guess this is why I like to join in with guest posts and blog challenges now that I’m a blogger – I like to work with others on a shared outcome which benefits us both – so maybe I ought to join in with more of this kind of thing. Let me know if you have a project you’d like me to join in with and I will probably jump at the change.
What do colleagues get from you? Someone who can be trusted to work unsupervised and get the work done on or before a deadline. They will also get honest advice and I like to teach others how to do things if they don’t already have knowledge of the task. They will get my time, energy and enthusiasm. I genuinely want everyone to reach their full potential and am a good cheerleader.
What roles or activities have you excelled in previously? I’m going to answer this in terms of what tasks I have enjoyed most in the past, because I’ve never not given 100% in every role I’ve worked in but that doesn’t mean that I have always liked it! I worked as a research intern after finishing university and I really looked forward to working on the project every day and getting excellent results. In my very first job as a marketing assistant for a publishing house, I found that I did my best work during research and editorial tasks. Within both of these roles I liked being autonomous and preferred the writing element of the work.
What are your biggest achievements so far? My biggest achievements are gaining a first class degree and a masters degree with distinction, which I now realise also probably shows my preference for and ability to work independently, read, research, write, design and communicate well. Obviously I need to mention the blog which has led to lots of opportunities for writing articles for other publications – something I’ve always wanted to do but never really realised before I began blogging – I was always good at writing as a teen but fought against this because I didn’t want to be a ‘square’ at school. I’m also going to count a ten year marriage, strong friendships, happy family life and teaching my nephew new things among my biggest achievements and I honestly think personal achievements outweigh educational or career success in my mind.
So let me know how you get on with answering these questions and developing an answer to the “What are you good at?” section on the brand purpose chart above. I think my overall discovery is that I am good at writing, research, independent working, learning, teaching, sharing and developing relationships. It all seems a bit obvious now that I’ve written it down, because that’s basically what I’m doing every day through the blog and in my life, but until you write it down and really think about it, I don’t think you really know yourself all that well! At least I’ve found out that I’m more-or-less doing what I should be doing in life already and that I ought to focus on developing my current ‘career’ rather than searching for something else. What have you found out by answering these questions? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to know!