Women Of The Channel: 5 Reasons Why You Need To Create Your Personal Brand -- And Live It Every Day

Perfecting Your Pitch

Your personal brand is your calling card and the very thing that will set you apart. Without a strong personal brand, you run the risk of being overlooked, according to Annie Scranton, founder and president of Pace Public Relations.

At the Women Of The Channel East conference, being hosted by The Channel Company this week in New York City, Scranton shared how a strong personal brand should be lived every day, and how it can be leveraged to stand out from the competition.

Here are five reasons why personal branding matters and what you can do to make sure yours is on point.

Why Do You Need A Personal Brand?

Employees, especially women, must work to stand out in their careers because woman are still 15 percent less likely to get promoted when compared with their male counterparts. Every open job with a salary of over $150,000 a year receives over 250 resumes, Scranton said.

"How many others are similar to you in your position?" she asked the Women of the Channel East audience. Yet at the same time, people can hurt their chances with one "rogue" tweet or photo that damages or even ends their career. "It's a critical time to have a brand and to protect your reputation."

Who Are You?

Scranton told attendees that they need to think about who they are and what they represent. To do that, you need to work backward, she said. Identifying immediate and future goals is the first step in figuring out who you are.

"Without goals, you won't know what you will represent … and if you don’t actively take charge of your brand, someone will do that for you," she said.

Be Honest

There's a great deal of pressure for women to fit into certain roles in which they may not be fully comfortable, but pretending to be someone you're not won't ultimately help you get ahead, Scranton said.

Being honest means being consistent and remembering your core values across all areas whether that's meetings, social media platforms or email.

"Be realistic about your expectations," she said. "Know your strengths and play to them."

Brand Yourself As The Best Version Of You

Being honest is No. 1, but so is branding yourself as the best version of who you want to be. Also known as cognitive dissonance, when you put your best self out there, your brain will be forced to meet the demand, Scranton explained.

"Think of your resume as showing what you do, but your brand showing how you do it," she said.

Practice Your Personal Brand Every Day

Perhaps most important is practicing what you preach, and living all areas of your life with your brand in mind, Scranton said. Practicing your brand every day can keep you in the right frame of mind, which is important because you only get one shot at a first impression.

"From the first time you said, 'Hello,' they already formed an opinion," she said. "Do what you think is the best thing to do at all times with honor and integrity."