As a leader today, it is more important than ever to build, manage, and maintain your “personal brand.” With online social media tools with worldwide exposure available 24/7, it is now a necessity to be on top of who you are, how you are seen and heard, and what impact you are creating.
“Personal Branding” is about making the choice to determine how the world sees you. It’s about packaging the brand called “You.”
Knowing “Brand You”
Your personal brand is your word and your action and the way you present yourself. Personal brand is about you being your own Corporate Brand. Being in a positive mood, having a positive culture of mutual respect, being focused and determined are imperative to each of our personal branding.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~Tom Peters in Fast Company, 1997
10 Steps: How To Build Your “Personal Brand”
Personal brand is an ongoing process and it evolves.
1. Know Yourself
Self-awareness and self assessment is key here. You need to be clear who you are, what drives and motivates you, your talents, values and strengths and what you want to achieve.
2. Get Feedback
Get feedback about yourself from people who know you, your colleagues, your ex bosses, your family, friends, your ex peers and your team. Ask them specific questions on what 5 adjectives that describes you the best or what do they see as your strengths, or your personality traits.
3. Your Talents
Take a Talent Assessment test and also think about what are your recurring thoughts, behaviors and feelings. Do this whilst you have a quiet moment as well as when you are in the midst of something. Observe yourself. The recurring thoughts, feelings and behaviors are your talents. Based on your self assessment and feedback from others determine what do you represent? What are the words, images and ideas that are staring at your face?
4. Unique Selling Proposition
There is only one you and no other. Determine what is the key 1-2 talents that describe your Unique Selling Proposition.
5. Business Card, Website and Social Media
Presentation of each of this is important. The layout, color combination, information contained there in should speak of the person and the values that the business represents. Determine what is your personal brand statement ? This is a statement that represent who you are, what you represent and one that others who know you can associate with.
Do you have a LinkedIn profile? Your LinkedIn profile is a combination of a resume, testimonials, and a dynamic database of your network. You can use it to create your own personal advertising, to search for jobs or make new connections.
6. Lead by Example
You are only as good as what you say you will do. You ruin your personal image and branding every time your audio is not in sync with your video.
“When most people think of a brand, they visualize a slogan, a logo, campaign, a promise, or a product. A brand is much more. Your company’s brand is a powerful relationship fueled by a loyal belief system and knotted to the principle of providing exceptional value.” ~Karl Speak
7. Listen Rather than Hear
Empathize, let your body language show that you are listening. Make eye contact while talking, presenting, meeting current or potential customers.
8. Speak Rather than Talk
Your values are the things that you believe are important and your work and life needs to reflect this.
9. Over Commitment & Lack of Planning
Failing to act on your word is a sure way to fall flat on your face as far as your reputation is concerned. Do not ruin your franchise and image by making false promises.
You cannot separate yourself from your personal branding and thus consistency and congruence is imperative.
When you have a solid personal brand, people will remember you and have a favorable opinion of you exactly in the same way when a product has good branding.
Does your personal brand reflect who you are, and what you are? Are your talents and innate qualities brought out in your personal brand? Do you have a Unique Selling Proposition? If no, why not? Does your action empower your words and in congruence ? I would love to hear you thoughts!
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