If someone had told me ten years ago that in 2018 I would release a book about personal branding in IT I’d at least have raised my eyebrows.
Only 8 years ago, I lived in an orphanage and struggled to get by at most of my subjects in school. At weekends I was DJing to make some cash on the side. The outlook was rather gloomy, huh? But here it is, the fruit of my hard work. It’s finally out! After over a year of planning and a few months of intense writing.
Why did I write it?
I didn’t just write this book for the people out there. For all my colleagues working in the IT sector, who struggle to rise above merely being a shadow sitting in front of a screen. I didn’t just write this book for kids in orphanages, either (the proceeds from this book will be donated to a chosen orphanage). I wrote it in the first place for myself.
Why? The reason is very simple. It was so that I could really learn all the things you can now read about in my book. So I could internalise it. So I could embody the things I was learning. Because it’s at this stage you can start thinking about teaching others.
What value can you get out of it?
Each chapter exhaustively covers different factors contributing to the success of your personal brand. Now, let’s have a closer look at them
1. Setting Goals
It’s not by accident that this subject opens the book. As the Roman philosopher Seneca once said, “If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable.” This message is the core of the chapter. In it, I ask you to find your own answer to the question, “What am I really striving for?” Because knowing your specific, measurable goal is at the foundation of any further action.
2. Your Body Is Your Business Card
The main takeaway from this chapter is the change in the way you think about your appearance and your “outward” in general. The way you speak, the way you approach people, your body language, your diet and last but not least – exercising. If you’re not motivated enough, I encourage you to delegate these things to a specialist. A personal trainer, a public speaking coach. All of this can turn out to be a profitable investment in the future.
Why is it so important? Because people do business with people they like and their perception is their reality. This does not mean that I want to teach you how to be a fake people-pleaser. All I really do is show you how to attract opportunities with the help of a consciously-built image. Because the fact is that we have an image anyway. So why not harness it to work in your favour?
3. Dress Well for Success
Like the previous chapter, this one puts the focus on the outward appearance as well. The main thought behind it is that “perception is reality”. One of the most important components of that perception is the way you dress. If you’re a woman – you might be luckier and have an inborn aesthetic sense. More likely, however, you’re a nerdy IT male who doesn’t really care about the scruffiness of his outfit. Since the way you dress is something to be taken seriously, my advice is to delegate it to a stylist. I guarantee they will know better than you think you know.
4. Emotional Intelligence
The message of this chapter is that human beings are driven by emotions. Whether it’s consciously or not, privately or in business – that’s what the vast majority of us are triggered by. Now, if you learn how to put that rule into practice properly, people will pay you attention. And as a famous marketing “guru” says, “Attention is everything”. To be clear, there’s no hint of manipulation in what I’m talking about. It’s all about managing and conveying your own emotions and understanding how other people’s actions are based on theirs as well.
5. Sharpen Your Technical Skills
This chapter is a reminder that your “online presence” is really not enough if you expect people to give you credit. If that sounds obvious, you’re on the right side. Nowadays, however, we see more and more fake experts selling you whatever is popular at a given moment. Good old hard (and smart) work is a remedy for that, and in the book, I go over it in detail.
We are social creatures and a man without connections will always have limited possibilities. If your goal is to develop a personal brand, this statement should be your compass. In this chapter, I share my genuine experiences in how connecting with other people aligned with the same goals and values makes you thrive. Having mentors, attending conferences, talking to different people – that has brought me to where I am now.
7. Building Your Online Presence
Last but not least, you need tools to “present” your values and actions. Consistency, authenticity and delivering a congruent message to your target audience. That’s all key to establishing your presence. In this chapter I have broken down all the methods of “putting yourself out there” and showed how each can be used best to deliver value to people. And get it back as a consequence. What happens then? More work offers? More prospects reaching out to you? More credibility when you reach out to them? Use the knowledge in this chapter and create your own path.
A concluding disclaimer
This book will not make you rich quick without you raising a finger. I am sorry if I have disappointed you with yet another get-rich-slow scheme. Each one of us is in a different place; we have our own journeys. Whether it takes a few months or years for you to get where you want to be, one thing is sure. The methods you can learn in my book are the gateway to your professional progress. The catch is, they come at a price. They work as long as you are willing to combine them with hard work and putting in an effort. If that’s your mindset, this little investment can pay big dividends in the future. And the future will come anyway.
See you on the other side?
P.S. There are only 300 paperback copies. You can grab one here.