Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is the impression you project to others. You can think of your personal brand as your professional reputation. It is called a “personal” brand because it should reflect your unique personality and contribution as an individual.
Your personal brand includes your:
- EXPERTISE: what others perceive you know
- STRENGTHS: what others perceive you’re good at
- VALUES: what others perceive drives you
A strong personal brand is genuine, honest, and natural. Improving your personal brand can narrow the gap between what others perceive in you and what you perceive in yourself, giving you more control over the impression you create.
Q: Do I need a personal brand?
You already have a personal brand, whether or not you’ve worked to develop it intentionally. The question is how well the personal brand you currently project matches the one you’d like to project.
Do you feel confident answering the question, “Tell me a bit about yourself”? Do your colleagues and professional contacts associate you with the kinds of knowledge and skills you want to be known for? Do people automatically think to connect you to others working on similar issues? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you may want to cultivate a stronger personal brand.
Q: I am not looking for a job, so I don’t need to work on my personal brand. Right?
Wrong! The best time to work on your personal brand is before you’re looking to change jobs or careers. That way, when you do decide to make a transition, you have already established yourself as a leader and expert in your desired field. People will associate you with the type of position you are looking for, and many will send opportunities to you as they arise. Beats spending hours trying to redefine yourself during a frantic job search, right?
Q: What is a values-driven field?
And if I work in the public or nonprofit sectors, shouldn’t I be promoting the issues and not myself?
A values-driven field is any field or career that is motivated in large part by one’s personal values – values like the public interest, a sense of social justice, or the importance of art. Such careers can be in the private, public, or nonprofit sectors. In fact, many professionals today cross sectors throughout their careers.
Often, professionals whose work is motivated by their values feel uncomfortable promoting themselves, when it’s really the issues that they care about. And this makes sense; it means your heart is in the right place! But if you want to have an impact on the issue, you have to know how you can uniquely contribute to the cause. Moreover, being able to articulate your values to potential employers and professional connections is even more important in these fields than in the traditional, profit-driven private sector. Thus Mimi ni specializes in working with young professionals in values-driven fields to cultivate a personal brand that is explicitly based on their expertise, strengths, and values.
Q: Why should I develop my personal brand, when people just make assumptions about me anyway?
For many in society, including women, minorities, and LGBT people, other professionals may have perceptions of us that are based on stereotypes or assumptions about our personalities and working styles. Mimi ni seeks to empower individuals to define a personal brand that reflects their unique personality and contributions to their field. You cannot erase the assumptions that people have, but you can control whether and how you challenge those assumptions, and construct a personal brand that is specific to your expertise, strengths, and values.
Q: Ok, I should probably work on my personal brand. But why should I pay someone to help me develop it?
You may feel comfortable establishing your personal brand by yourself, which is great! But for many people, it is helpful to talk through your personal brand with an outsider, who can offer perspective on your personal reflections and your strategy for projecting your brand. Mimi ni has developed extensive exercises and materials to guide you through the processes of self-reflection and self-projection, targeted specifically to people working in values-driven fields. In addition, Mimi ni keeps its costs as low as possible, to ensure that all young professionals are able to access its services. (By contrast, the average price for career coaching is $180-350/hr!)
If you are not in a position to pay the full fee, use the Contact Us form to discuss sliding scale options.
Q: This sounds awesome. But I don’t live in DC. Can I still use Mimi ni’s services?
Yes! Mimi ni can set up Skype sessions and send you all the materials electronically. Meeting face-to-face is always nice, but it is certainly not a requirement. Contact us to arrange virtual sessions for any of our services.
Q: What about groups, do you do that? My organization / club / meetup would love to have a brownbag or training session.
Yes, most of our sessions can be adapted for group settings. While individuals will not get the personalized, one-on-one attention that regular sessions involve, Mimi ni can present the background material on how to network and present yourself effectively. Use the Contact Us form for scheduling and rates.