The Power of a Strong Personal Brand

For PMI Mile Hi, in anticipation of your 20th Annual Rocky Mountain Project Management Symposium, April 20, 2018.

Whether you are looking for a job, looking to keep your job, or want an even better job, it is critical that you make yourself compelling and relevant to those people who need to find you. At the same time, however, it’s important to stay true to your goals and values. Sound easy? Not really.

About 10 years ago, reputation management and personal branding came into the conversation as professionals of all walks of life found themselves suddenly vulnerable: Competing on credentials and track record was no longer enough. Now, employers and influencers wanted to understand who you are, not just what you know how to do.

We know that people form opinions and judgments about us based on how they have experienced our behavior and interactions (online, in person, and from what they have heard about us). If they perceive our value to be strong and compelling, then they are likely to want to hire us, engage us or form relationships with us. If they perceive your value as negative or distracting, they could want to remove you from a key opportunity.

When we take a proactive approach to managing our personal brand and reputation, we can design and direct the way we want to be known.

Start with the Five D’s

To build the personal brand you desire for yourself, I recommend my Five D’s of Reputation Management:

1. Discover 

Assess your current reputation (personal brand). Ask yourself: How am I known today? How do others feel about me and perceive my value? Have I heard that my boss doesn’t perceive me as management material??

2. Desire

Next, envision the reputation you would like to have. Consider: What do I desire to be known for? Do I want to be known as a collaborator and thought leader? Attach as much detail and thought to your desired reputation as possible.

3. Define

Define your target audience. Your audience is the group of people who must find your reputation relevant and compelling. Focus on positioning yourself with the people you seem to “gel” best with -- where you get each other’s jokes and align with their integrity and passion?

4. Design

The design phase is where you build out a strategy to move your actions, relationships, networks and vision towards your desired brand (reputation). Focus on the audience who must find you relevant in order to get you closer to those opportunities. Then, assign goals and benchmarks in the strategy and consider all marketing channels as possible.?

5. Deploy

Deploy your marketing strategy through all of your marketing and communications -- social media, image, body language, networking, messaging, public relations. Consistency is key, and stay authentic and relevant, building your reputation over time to achieve your desired brand.

Even if you are happily employed in your dream job, having a strong and memorable personal brand empowers you to achieve your career goals and attract more opportunity. I look forward to discussing all of this with you at the PMI Mile Hi’s 20th Annual Symposium, here in Denver in April! 


About the Author

Lida Citroën is an international branding and reputation management expert who designs and enhances the identities of companies, executives, and professionals globally. As CEO and founder of LIDA360, LLC, she is sought-after for her knowledge of personal branding, reputation management and online positioning. As professionals seek to gain control and influence in their careers, Lida often shares her tips and insights in the media, including MSNBC, Fortune Magazine, Inc. Magazine,, Harvard Business Review, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, KUSA 9News, Fox31 News, and USNews & World Report. Lida is the author of "Reputation 360: Creating Power through Personal Branding, a Best-selling Guide to Gaining Competitive Advantage."

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