Brands … they’re everywhere – on television, in films, over social media, while shopping or walking down the street … from the time you start your day to when you end it, you can’t escape the presence of branded products and services. Companies spend millions of dollars to market and influence the public’s viewpoint of their brands, and as an accounting and finance professional, you’re aware of the budget requirements and maybe even the return of investment of such endeavors. It’s an important part of business that increases a product’s market share and contributes to a company’s profitability … and there is much that you can learn from brand management practices to develop and manage your own brand – in other words, your personal brand.

Brand 101
Simply stated, a brand is what a target audience thinks of when they hear the product or company name. It’s a visual that comes to mind, a thought that is conjured up or an emotion that is felt when the brand is mentioned. Brand management is the application of marketing techniques to promote the brand and control its reputation.

Why is a personal brand significant to you?
Personal branding is a marketing strategy of your most important product – YOU. If you want to advance in your career, it’s important to have a personal brand to manage others’ perception of you and portray yourself in the best light.

Determining your personal brand

  1. Begin with a self-assessment.
    First, figure out the qualities, experiences, and characteristics you possess that define you and that you want others to know about you.  Ask yourself – who are you … what do you do best (budgeting, forecasting, analysis, mentoring or managing others) … where do you want your career go (an advancement in accounting, finance, another area of business, or starting your own company)? Write down the answers to these questions.
  2. Develop your own mission statement.
    What is the purpose of your career? What do you hope to achieve?
  3. Make a list of your own personal goals.
    Where do you see yourself in one, five and ten years? List your goals, both short-term and long-term. Creating a list of sets the destination for your road map. Knowing where you want to go is the key to getting there. You’re now on your way to building your personal brand.
  4. Create your road map to your goals.
    As you document ways to achieve your short- and long-term goals, think about the best routes to take. Be idealistic, yet keep in mind the realities of reaching your destination.
  5. Develop a market positioning statement.
    Now that you have your career map, determine how you’d like to be positioned in your target market. Create a personal brand market positioning statement that focuses on what makes you (your brand) important and unique from others. Prepare your value proposition.Example: An experienced finance manager with five-to-ten years of dedicated work in the software industry, I’ve participated in high-impact projects that have saved employers 9.17€ million in operational costs and boosted revenue 13.76€ million over five years. With a master in business administration and certification in cost accounting, I am a competent leader who guides, advises and collaborates with colleagues and other team members of various professional disciplines in support of corporate goals and profitability.

Going through this exercise may seem to be daunting and time-consuming, so remember to keep your documentation simple and direct. Don’t over-complicate your efforts.

A few tools to help your personal brand:

One last consideration, make sure your brand stays fresh and relevant. No matter how well your brand is doing, progress is inevitable to keep the interest of your audience and to stay current in today’s ever-changing business market.

As a leading finance and accounting staffing solutions firm, FGD Finance is committed to placing top talent at premier companies in the San Francisco/Silicon Valley Bay Area. Whether you are a candidate looking for your next career opportunity or a client in need of expertise in solving critical staffing issues, we are here to help you succeed! Call us at (925) 837-5900 or (408) 465-4424 and let’s get started on your success today!

©2014 FGD Finance