Personal Branding: The Lighthouse Branding Model
More and more people are talking about the importance of personal
branding, both in career searching and in career development. Effective
personal branding not only makes you stand out from the crowd to
employers and recruiters, it can also increase your job security by
communicating your value as a leader and team player to your
What is personal branding? Personal
branding is the process of identifying the unique and differentiating
value that you bring to an organization, team and/or project and
communicating it in a professionally memorable and consistent manner in
all of your actions, both online and offline, to all current and
prospective stakeholders in your career.
The Lighthouse Personal Branding Model
The lighthouse is a great model for breaking down the branding process
into four key steps: the foundation, the beacon, the tower and the beam.
Foundation: Your foundation is your unarguable
strengths and experience in your chosen area. To identify your own
foundation, write down the strengths that differentiate you from the
rest and ask your friends, family and colleagues/managers to do the same
for you. Identify the top three to five overlapping strengths that
support the career direction you want to pursue.
Your beacon is the memorable and consistent communication of your
strengths and experience. Now that you have identified your foundation,
it's time to create your beacon by finding a word or phrase that
represents these strengths and can become your brand. Develop a short
pitch that can follow your brand, describing your strengths in more
detail. Ensure that your word or phrase is versatile and can change with
Tower: Simply put, your tower is your visibility, reach and presentation, both online and offline, which support the beacon. This is really everything you do to proactively build your personal brand. The higher you build your tower with your efforts, the more visible you will be to potential career stakeholders. Here are some ways to proactively build your brand and credibility in front of your target audience:
Beam: Your beam is your career direction and more active personal branding and career search strategy. It involves you gaining and projecting a strong understanding of where you want to go, what you want to pursue and how you will pursue it. First, you need to determine what functional area, geography and industries/companies you want to target. Then, you need to actively network your brand with potential career stakeholders. Here are some ways to start:
Personal Application I used this model to help develop my own personal brand during my MBA career search. Having identified my foundation to be my endless energy, out-of-the-box creativity, relationship building and problem solving, I looked for a word that could pull all of those strengths together into one memorable brand message. The beacon I chose was "generator" as I generate energy, creativity, relationships and solutions to problems. I was pursuing a career in marketing and brand management, and therefore, I became a brand and marketing generator. I proactively built my tower by incorporating my brand directly into my online profiles, my resumes and my entrepreneurial efforts. I then took a more active approach, targeting the "beam" by incorporating my personal brand in my interview responses, networking introductions and informational interview outreach. It was this process that helped me successfully secure my current employment, and this model continues to help guide all of my professional and entrepreneurial ventures. As you create, build and improve on your personal brand, keep the lighthouse in mind as a visual model and guide to personal branding success.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Perry, MBA, is a Gen Y brand and marketing generator, brand marketing manager, career search and personal branding expert, professional speaker, entrepreneur and brand consultant. Chris is the founder of Career Rocketeer, the Career Search and Personal Branding Network, MBA Highway, the MBA Job Search and Career Network and multiple other ventures. Learn more about Chris on his website: http://chrisperry.me