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It may not be whom you know, but who knows you.

As an intelligent, educated, hardworking professional, you may think, "I've got it made."

While those attributes are integral to your success, you're missing one key element: People must know who you are. Your name comes to mind when they think of people they admire. They talk about you with their friends when sharing success stories. When writing an article about creating a memorable impression, they contact you for your insight.

One such person is Debra Minton, president of Philanthropia Partners, a Grand Rapids-based consulting business that advises and helps develop nonprofit organizations, who shared the factors that have contributed to her success and professional recognition. She embodies her personal brand, which she defines as how people describe you, how they describe your work, and how they remember you.

After you identify your brand, you must ensure the right people know who you are—but who are these right people? At first blush, the other moms at the bus stop may not seem relevant to your career. Yet you might be surprised once you strike up a conversation. This is why your brand must be genuine; not something you only turn on in front of inherently important people. Minton refers to this as "being the shepherd of your own personal brand." The real you must be present, at all times.

To read more about developing your personal brand, click here to visit the West Michigan Woman digital magazine.

 

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