Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. How effective an individuals personal brand is managed can aid them in obtaining the opportunities they want. We have all heard the saying ‘first impressions matters’ your brand ties directly back to someone’s first impression of you. Personal branding in a nutshell is how a person goes about distinguishing themselves from others. You are in essence hoping to create a memorable personality based on a number of factors, including appearance, dress sense, knowledge to name a few.
There are ways which your personal brand can be improved to help you get to where YOU want to be.
Invest in your brand – we all are unique and different in many ways – why not gain from it? Look at your personal brand as an investment which has unlimited potential to grow and continue growing even after you have died. For example if you have a passion for art, you have the opportunity for your work to speak for you as people would follow your work from project to project so having a great personal brand is invaluable in that situation.
How do you want to be perceived –
Set yourself goals for your public image. Your personal brand is built from the perceptions and reactions of other people and it’s shaped by how you comport yourself in public. Only you can control how people view you so think about how you want people to see you and work publicly on being that image. A great example I like to use is Floyd Mayweather Jr. When you think of the ‘Money Mayweather’ brand – money, confidence and best are three words than come straight to mind. And that is because of how he portrays himself in public. The cars, the press conferences, the swagger is all a part of his brand. What is yours? How would you like customers/clients/colleagues to view you as a person? How can you be that person in public?
Blog/website – blogging is an easy way to get your brand out and it’s free. It gives you a way to get your thoughts and ideas to a wider network than your immediate one. People wont remember everything about you, so focus on telling the story that contributes most to your brand. If you use LinkedIn correctly that could easily become a platform for you to demonstrate your brand by having a strong mini-bio and strategically connecting with the right people
Don’t get complacent – It is so important to continue learning and updating your knowledge. If you were an ‘expert’ two years ago but have since stopped learning and get complacent the new school will catch up and overtake. Make sure you stay relevant is just as important as becoming relevant.
Get people talking – make sure once you have spoken to someone new you left a positive impression on them. Leave them with a few key things that they could discuss with someone about you. What impression do you want to leave? Once you know that then you know how to drive the conversation. If you will be genuinely interested in other people’s lives, hobbies and their beliefs you will find out new things that will inspire you and make you a better person. Your personal brand will be perceived as welcoming by just asking someone how they are or what they have been up to. making a note to yourself will help you to remember things for the next meet up. In this way you will forge a healthier relationship with anyone you communicate with.
Grab opportunities to sell yourself -Don’t waste the opportunity when someone asks: “what have you been up to lately?” to just say “not much” or “same old, same old”. have something constructive and substantial to contribute to the conversation, which shows you’re staying current and have an interest in constantly challenging yourself. Talk about literally anything than can drive a stimulating conversation, whether that is a group project you are working on, or a charity you have started to work for. The list is endless and taking the time to do this can make such a difference in the perception the person ends up having of you.