What is Personal Branding?
In short Personal Branding is what you are known for and what people seek you out for. You are the “Go-to” person on the tip of everyones tongue.
Think about your circle of friends in a casual setting and the conversations you have about various aspects of your life. Maybe a friend mentions they are having problems with their German car and someone in the group has “a guy” and truly believes you should go to them because they are “The guy to go to for German cars, no one is better, they are the best”. Maybe you are discussing health and fitness, your friend seriously wants to try Yoga, but yoga instructors are a dime a dozen now and they are having a hard time deciding who, what type of yoga and where. Again, a voice will pipe up “I know the most amazing instructor – they are practically a Guru”. You get the idea…
Whether or not the Mechanic or the Yoga instructor know this, they have become a “Brand” they are the “Go-To”. These people have become top of mind and are referred because they have continued to work at something, talk to people about it and practice it. They are perceived to be an expert in their field.
Personal Branding is about aligning the image that people perceive of you with where you are going. It can also be taking the image that people perceive of you, then polishing it, magnifying it and keeping it consistent.
When it comes to Personal Branding the most important product is you.
A successful brand creates a targeted and consistent impression, it puts a focus on achieving your personal and professional goals. Your Personal Brand should be honest and allow you to live authentically because you cannot fake a successful brand.
A phenomenal brand is always genuine.
5 Rules to live by
1. Be the expert in your field
You are good at what you do but that is not enough… Be the best! Continue to educate yourself, stay on top of what is current in your industry. Have answers and if you don’t have, then find them. Educate yourself, take classes and courses, read, align yourself with other experts… You are always learning and sharing what you have learnt.
2. Be visible and accessible
Interact and network, get on social media, guest speak. Say yes to lunch, go to the party. In some cases you just need to pick up the phone. Although this can be exhausting and personal space and downtime are incredibly important. Sitting behind your laptop or hiding in your office is not going to get you known, choose events and meetings wisely but interact and smile… Ask questions, learn about others, share your knowledge.
3. Be consistent and honest
This really speaks for itself, consistency and honesty create trust and trust is the basis for all relationships. People will always go to the brand they trust. Have “Brand Integrity” and maintain it.
4. Be authentic in the media – this means social media too.
It is human nature to want to be perfect and to be concerned with making good impressions. The truth is, we all screw up from time to time, we all have families and friends, we can all be goofy, we all face similar trials and tribulations. A good brand is relatable and you are your brand, the more authentic and genuine you are the more people will relate to you. It’s heartwarming and that always touches a nerve.
5. Give Back
Everyone has a passion or concern and it feels really good to give back. Find a cause and constantly support it. You could offer pro bono hours of your expertise, maybe something happened in your life that moved you and you want to support others. This is something that should come from your heart, so really think about it and get out there and do some good!