Did you know black women have the highest labor force participation of all women?
Who runs the world? Us!
It’s true! But even though we’re in classrooms, offices, and boardrooms across America, we still have a lot of work to do.
According to the 2020 Current Population Survey and the 2019 American Community Survey, Black women earn $0.63 to every $1 made by white, non-Hispanic men. That’s a not-so-shocking (anymore) and but still equally disheartening 37% difference!
Let’s give this a little context – if your salary is $45,000, your white male colleague with the same level of education, experience, and responsibility likely takes home roughly $71,430.
Now that is some straight BS; clearly, something must be done.
Of course, there are larger issues at play that are out of our control. But one major factor we can take control of now is your mindset.
Embracing Yourself as a Brand
From the time we begin our careers, we’re conditioned to believe that we are replaceable. If we are unwilling to do something, then five more people are in line, ready and willing to do our job better and for less money. While there may be some half-truth to the latter, we are not interchangeable cogs in the machine.
Your experiences, perspectives, and skill set add to your unique and priceless expertise. These things culminate together to curate a specific part of your personal brand.
Yes! I said your brand.
When you think of branding, you probably think of big companies with expensive marketing teams managing and fine-tuning their every move and message, but branding can be as simple as deciding how you want to be perceived in the world and ensuring everything you do aligns with it. Like big companies, your brand is simply an amalgamation of your image, message, and values.
Now is a great time to start if you’ve never asked yourself how you want to show up in the world.
Three Tips to Tap Into Your Personal Brand
Now, if you’re anything like the women I’ve worked with over the years, then shining a light on yourself can be a bit triggering. Suddenly, you feel a sense of imposter syndrome and second-guess yourself even if you’ve been delivering quality results for years.
But building a personal brand is a strategy people at the top have been doing forever. Embrace yourself as the expert and recognize that you have something valuable to offer.
It doesn’t have to be overwhelming! Follow these three tips to start today.
1. Figure out what makes you unique
What do you have to offer that nobody else does? What are your strengths and passions? What do you value? Once you know what makes you special, you can start to share that with the world. By sharing your unique perspective, skills, and message, you’ll position yourself as an authority in your field (not just in your current position) and connect with others who appreciate and value what you offer.
2. Be consistent
Whether you’re online, in person, or in print, always ensure your message is clear and on-brand. If you struggle to figure out what to say, I’ll give you one of my message development secrets that I use with my clients. Create an informal messaging guide. This can be as simple as crafting a little elevator pitch or brainstorming a few key messages you can use when speaking about your work, philosophy, or self. Having a solid, on-brand message in place ensures all of your communications are consistent.
3. Be authentic
Don’t be who you think you ‘should’ be. You don’t have to fit into a specific mold to build a successful personal brand. In fact, it’s often your differences that set you apart from the competition. The most successful personal brands are the ones that stay true to themselves. Be honest and genuine in everything you do – that’s what will make people trust you and want to buy into you.