You can’t pick up a magazine or look at a television ad without seeing a corporate “brand” of some sort. Branding is necessary in order to stand out and separate yourself from your competition. Regardless of whether you’re in a corporate job, an entrepreneur, or a job seeker, there is always competition among you. Nike says “Just Do It”, and we don’t have to travel far to see the “golden arches” of McDonalds. Corporations spend millions of dollars to develop and build their own unique brands. Whether it is shoes, wine, clothing, or fragrances, branding is all around you. Branding is a consistent message about “something”. When we brand ourselves, we send out a consistent message of who we are and what we want others to know about us. Branding yourself allows others to know who you are and be valued for it. It helps you attract what you want to become and allows you to walk your journey with integrity and confidence; and most importantly, it distinguishes you in whatever field you have chosen.

Following are five steps for creating your own unique BRAND “YOU”:
1. Discover who you are and what is unique about you. We all possess unique skills and attributes. When you discover this, you can then build a brand around it. For example, if you have a natural ability to speak professionally, then your brand may be focused around public speaking. If you are a natural born leader, your brand will be centered on your leadership skills.

2. Be authentic in your brand. Do not try to copy someone else. If you focus your brand around your unique skills and attributes, this will come easy and natural for you. You should not have to force fit yourself into a mold that is not unique to who you are.

3. Be confident and comfortable with your brand. You are one-of-a-kind, and you must believe before anyone else will. Your communication, behaviors, actions, and reactions should all send the message of your unique brand YOU.

4. Be consistent. It’s important to stay focused and on target with who you are and what message you are sending out to the world. We all have off days, but try to keep your message on target to communicate a consistent message about what you represent. Resist the urge to switch your message around or change in mid-stream. Change can be positive, but only if your core branding message remains consistent.

5. Sharpen your brand often. Life-long learning is a conscious continuous effort in gaining knowledge and skills for self growth. It’s important to keep your mind and body engaged – regardless of your age – by actively pursuing knowledge and experience. Use your resources, join networking organizations, and surround yourself with like-minded individuals who share a similar vision for their lives.

6. Seek feedback. Feedback and life-long learning go hand in hand. In order to be consistent in delivering great performance, you must be aware of what needs to be tweaked and improved upon. Feedback can come from co-workers, peers, or others in your networking circle.
Having the right mindset and creating your personal unique brand sets you apart from your everyone else, i.e., co-workers, job seekers, friends, colleagues. This is a process that will stretch you beyond corporate America. This process creates a unique blueprint for your life as well as your career. Corporate managers will not only appreciate the fact that you are a brand but there is a higher probability that you will be rewarded for your high level of professionalism and commitment that comes from branding. The possibilities are endless for you with branding. You are the CEO of your life, and you now have the personal brand to prove it.

Author's Bio: 

Cathy Holloway Hill is founder and CEO of C. Holloway Hill Enterprises, a personal and professional development organization specializing in life skills training, and career/life coaching. Her company’s mission is to devise strategies that promote performance excellence and empower others to achieve their personal and professional best. Cathy provides her clients with the tools and knowledge to take action, discover potential, embrace change, and unleash their brilliance.

In addition to her work as a Career Consultant & Life Coach, Cathy also has corporate experience with IBM Corporation. Cathy walked away from a lucrative corporate career to focus on her life’s purpose of enhancing and advancing the lives of others. Cathy’s strong spiritual upbringing, and her belief that God is directing her toward a higher purpose, was the driving force to move her out of corporate America. Her professional experience in the male-dominated technology industry affords her the ability to speak from the heart on many topics related to career and life success. She is a member of Professional Woman Network (PWN), National Speakers Association, NAFE, and NAWBO. Cathy is certified in Diversity Training, Professional Speaking, Women’s Career Training, and Customer Service.

For two consecutive years, Cathy was recognized as the Black Achiever of the Year within the Community. This award recognizes African-American professionals for their career accomplishments and commitment to mentoring youth. She has also been recognized in the Who’s Who Black Louisville, Center for Leadership Development, and many other mentoring programs.

Cathy has a B.S. in Computer Science from Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky, and a Masters in Psychology from Walden University. Beginning her career at IBM Corporation, she has received numerous performance awards for outstanding leadership and employee development.

Cathy has been recognized in numerous national publications including Ebony and Black Enterprise Magazines. She also has had appearances on Full Circle with Suzanne McAllister and Inside Indiana Business with Gerry Dick. Cathy was recently a 2012 recipient of the Indiana Torchbearer Award from the Governor, Mitch Daniels, which is the highest award a woman can receive in the State of Indiana.

Cathy hosts a live Radio Talk Show every Wednesday, 6:00 EST, entitled, "Living By Design". The radio talk show focuses on self, health, and wealth to enhance and advance the lives of women. Cathy’s talk show can be heard at

Giving back is what drives Cathy. Her motto is; “Life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself”. Reach out to Cathy at