Take control of your personal brand with Office

These days—with so many social media channels competing for our attention—creating a personal brand is the best way to stand out from that vast crowd vying for attention online. According to Mel Carson of Seattle-based Delightful Communications, crafting your personal brand statement can help you take control of where you want your career to go.

Mel has helped everyone from pet groomers to Fortune 500 CEOs develop their personal brands. “A personal brand statement is your shopfront to the hundreds of people looking to hire, partner, and connect with you,” says Mel. “Spend some time crafting your personal brand statement properly and it will stand you in good stead until the day you retire.”

Profile image of Mel Carson, of Seattle-based Delightful Communications.“Find your mission—having a mission in the public domain acts as a signpost and filter as well as gives personal accountability,” says Mel. “Create a mission statement that gives anyone reading it no doubt of where you want your career to be headed.”

Another pointer from Mel is to remember you do have great value—it may come in all sorts of accomplishments, so it’s important to articulate it in a few different ways.

“Your experience, length of time in industry, who you have worked for in the past, your educational background, and what you’re passionate about focusing on next, all give an indication of your worth to a potential employer or client,” says Mel. “Including some value indicators, both from your own and your current businesses/company’s perspective, is an easy—but often overlooked—way of perfecting a more compelling personal brand.”

One crucial thing to keep in mind is to avoid buzzwords and hyperbole when describing who you are and what you do.

Mel will tell you he’s not a fan of using big, fancy filler words in a personal branding statement or LinkedIn profile. “Take some time to craft a statement that shows the real you— intelligently and honestly—without seeming overblown or a lacking self-awareness.”

It’s also important to use the right tools to help you track the goals you’re working toward. For instance, Mel not only uses Excel in his business for project management, budget forecasting, vacation tracking, and client reporting, he’s also found it’s super valuable for building a digital personal brand, because it lets you take advantage of data and analytics.

Mel advises keeping track of your metrics to see how well you’re doing with your personal branding. “We use a number of tools to measure influence and use Excel to download and manipulate data and report certain KPIs (Key Performance Indicators),” says Mel. “Extracting data from social media channels helps tell great stories about people’s personal brands and makes Excel a valuable asset.”

At home, he uses Excel for tracking monthly budgets and “working out where all our money goes!” he laughs. (Mel’s two daughters are just learning how to play Bingo. His five-year-old is starting to do chores to earn money, so the Kids Budget Bingo template for PowerPoint is something he’s keen to explore with her.)

Mel’s final advice: Once you have your personal brand statement written, get it out to the virtual world and find out what works and what doesn’t. Use Office 365 apps like Excel to help make the feedback you receive accessible and understandable. Above all, keep honing your message so it accurately reflects the real you.

Ready to check out some extra features we’ve developed to help you on your career path? If you have Office 365, take a look at our Excel templates.

Visit Delightful Communications to learn about Mel’s company.