Innovation Branding Series Ep4: Personal Branding: What’s your Anchor?

Today we continue a new series done in collaboration with Youri Sawerschel, Branding Expert and Founder of Creative Supply. In our fourth episode on Brand Innovation, Youri will speak about “Personal Branding: What’s your Anchor?”

Welcome back my name is Youri and today we’re going to speak about innovation but from a branding perspective.

You are doing a great job and yet always miss the promotion you deserve? Your are under the threat of layoff because your company is offshoring your department to a country with lower labour cost? A computer is likely to do your job better than you within 5 years? These examples shows that professional success cannot be just about doing a good job and hoping for the best. There are too many external factors impacting our career and we cannot leave it to chance.

That’s where personal branding comes in.

Just to be clear personal branding is not about “selling yourself” or “optimising your LinkedIn profile picture” or “tailoring your CV to match a potential employer criteria”. It must go much deeper – Identifying what we stand for and attract opportunities that match who we are. Today I d like to share with you the 3 fundamental steps to build a personal brand.

So, where do we start?

We all think that it is normal that a (good) CEO of a company gets rewarded based on his/her vision and his/her performance.  Yet when it come to ourselves, we systematically blame external factors to justify our lack of actions. We will say: “The job market is terrible”, “my boss doesn’t value me” or “I’ll get promoted next year so I don’t want to move”.

The first step in building your personal brand is about accepting to be in charge of yourself! So that from now on, you are the CEO of yourself!  For this, you need a roadmap, for as Seneca said: If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favorable.” 

So, what is your vision for yourself ? Where do you want to go?

Once you know where you want to go – you need to define your personal anchor. Your anchor is one central idea that connects everything you do. Let me give you an example: Richard Branson has launched a music label, an airline, a radio and a telecom provider. We, as public, accept it because his personal anchor is linked to the concept of a “free spirit”. Now imagine Bill Gates launching an airline. It would seem weird, wouldn’t it? This  because Bill Gates’s anchor is probably more about impacting humanity, be it with software or philanthropy.

So what is YOUR anchor? For me I think the idea of “creative transformation” is relevant to everything I do – from helping companies reinvent their brand, to teaching people about branding.

Taking control,  setting a vision for yourself, and defining your personal anchor are the 3 essentials steps to start building your personal brand. So don’t rush to LinkedIn to rewrite your personal bio. Get clarity on your strategy first!

Youri Sawerschel, Founder of Creative Supply