A personal brand might not be something you’ve ever associated with a leadership role yet it’s what distinguishes YOU from the crowd.
What is a personal brand?
Author and influencer, Neil Patel defines it as “the best way to show your uniqueness, specialties, and selling points. It encompasses all of the ways you promote yourself and create a public persona …”
We all have a personal brand, whether you’re deliberate about it or not. For most people, they’ve never questioned what their brand is. If you haven’t created your own brand, others will have done it for you. Jeff Bezos, founder and chairman of Amazon, says “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
What is your brand saying about you? If you don’t know or you’ve never thought about it, now is the time to create your own personal brand and put yourself in control.
What do you want to be known for?
That’s a good question. I’m not talking about qualifications or experience here, although that’s the first answer most of my clients give me. I want you to dig deeper and look for something much more personal and unique about you. After all, if we think of someone like Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, we don’t wonder about her qualifications, do we? It’s a far more personal response that we have thanks to her personal brand – calm, confident, caring and human.
How to define your personal brand.
- What do you believe is important about yourself?
- What do you want to be known for?
Grab a pen and notebook or open a new Word document and answer the following questions. Be honest. A personal brand MUST be genuine.
- My strengths and unique qualities are…
- I am at my best when…
- People recognise my expertise in…
- My personal style is…
Take a few moments to do this activity. What can you offer that other people can’t?
Preparing your personal brand.
I find writing a brand story can help my clients tie everything together. It’s the ‘why’ behind who they are and what they are known for. For example, how did you get to where you are? What inspired you to become a leader? Why are you so passionate about …? Why do you hold the values you have?
When you nut out your story it gives you clues about how to present your brand to the people who matter. We’ve all watched reality TV shows or read the About pages on websites: it’s the story that matters, isn’t it? AND it’s the story that people will remember.
Stick to it.
You know what’s special about you and you know your story. Now, all you need to do is stick to it. Consistency is what will reinforce your personal brand in the eyes of the people around you.
It’s time to check and refine the message you are presenting:
- Does your LinkedIn profile reveal your personal brand?
- Should you update your bio and resume?
- What messages are your social media posts giving out? Are they consistent?
- Do your decisions and actions align with your brand?
Building a brand is a long-term commitment. It needs to be constantly reinforced through your words and actions. It needs constant monitoring to ensure you’re getting your message right, and that means paying attention to what people are saying about you.
Your personal brand is an important tool in representing you the way you want.
Need help to define your brand? As a Coach, I bring a fresh perspective on things that will make it easier to build and maintain your personal brand. Contact me today and let’s make a start.
What is your brand message saying about you?