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Leverage your personal brand through building relationship capital

Frew Murdoch

Building 'relationship capital' entails building your relationships, with key people, up so that these associations can become beneficial to you and ultimately build your personal brand. The question is: how do you leverage your personal brand through building relationship capital? I spoke with Donna Rachelson, CEO of Branding & Marketing YOU, clarify this question and found out some incredible tips and insights to guide women at work on the path to creating a unique personal brand!

People often think that a personal brand and marketing yourself is all about 'me me me' but you add value when you recruit brand ambassadors, i.e. when you have others speak about their experiences with you.

How do you leverage your personal brand through building relationship capital?

Rachelson gave these three tips to leverage your personal brand through building relationship capital:

1. Understand your personal brand

It's not just about you. "Ask yourself the question: how can I build value for others?" advised Rachelson.

"You need to develop a key understanding of what drives and motivates others to build relationship capital and how can you add value for others. It's about strategy. Understand who it is that you impact, what drives them and what you can bring to them," said Rachelson.

2. Network consciously

"Be conscious and deliberate when you network. Many people network unconsciously and focus on the quantity of relationships they can make and then end up feeling overwhelmed," said Rachelson.

Women at work need to focus more on the quality of relationships they form and start building deeper connections with key people. Keep in mind what you want to achieve and how these relationships will help you get your desired outcomes.

3. What's your competitive edge?

What makes you different from everyone else that has a personal brand? What gives you the edge over others? These are the questions you need to ask and answer about yourself to form an effective personal brand.

After you have defined your competitive edge, then you can figure out who you need to connect with and their key drivers. Following this, you can devise the best ways to market yourself to them – in a way that they cherish every experience and are not irritated by you.

Be intentional in everything that you do

"Nobody is intentional with what they do. Nobody is conscious. In a workshop, I asked the participants who the top five people you need to connect with are and most of them couldn't answer. Women at work need to take a step back and figure out who they are, what makes them different and who the important people they need to connect with are," concluded Rachelson.

Donna Rachelson will be speaking at the GIBS IPM Women in Business 2014 – Leading The Future on 19 August. For more information, follow this link.

Ed's note: Looking for more women at work articles? Click here.

*These suggestions and insights don't apply to all women but are reflections on the average woman out there.

Frew Murdoch is the assistant editor of HR Pulse. She has a BA degree in communications and English and a passion for HR technology.

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