Building a personal brand is vital for self development and empowerment. A personal brand is defined as “a process by which we market ourselves to others”. When creating a personal brand, there are three questions you need to answer;
- What do you want to be known for?
- What is your vision?
- What is your brand statement?
Working for international corporates with strong company brands has made me quite aware of the impact personal branding can have. My personal brand has often been the reason I am offered certain roles and when I attended a corporate women’s mentoring initiative, I learnt a few more things to add to my personal brand kit.
If we ask our friends, family and colleagues to use descriptive words, these words that are used will start to describe how people perceive you to be and will ultimately decide what your personal brand is. There is difference between staying where we are and progressing forward. Finding out how we are perceived by others may not always be fun, but it certainly gives us the opportunity to create a baseline of where we are and puts us in the drivers seat for where we want to be and how we want to be described and perceived by others.
Our values impact our choices and the choices we make create our character and personal brand. To start creating or changing our personal brand, we need to look at a few key things. Answer these questions truthfully to gage what kind of brand you would like to promote and what your brand statement would look like.
- What inspires you?
- What motivates you?
- What are you passionate about?
- Where do you really want to be?
- What is your behaviour? How do you behave?
Through our actions and experiences, we start to create our personal brand. For our personal brand to be authentic, we need to be our genuine selves and be happy with who we are. We need to expand our self awareness and never stop learning or growing. Our self awareness includes looking at ourselves objectively and figure out what our self limiting behaviours are, how do we engage with others through our body language, eye contact and engagement. Ask yourself, are you difficult to get to know on a personal level and why? Once we figure out what our blockers and enablers are, we become more self aware and can start to mould our personal brand into what we want it to be and not what others portray it to be. The power is in your actions. It is not about talking, it is about behaviour and action. It really is true that actions speak louder than words.
Our personal brand toolkit involves three key aspects:
- STYLE – Our dress, our mannerism, our body language and how we present ourselves all form part of our style.
- KNOWLEDGE – Our content, our experience, our depth of knowledge gives our brand the content to back up our brand.
- PRODUCTS – Our business cards, twitter accounts, online presence, google, CV’s make up the product we offer and impacts how our personal brand is perceived.
We need to constantly be nurturing our self awareness to nurture our personal brand, update our brands and value our brands. We need to value what we can offer the world. The key to starting to create your personal brand lies in these two actions:
- Ask your family and friends to describe you in two words – write these down and this will form a clear picture how you are perceived. Take action to either enforce what you like and take action to change what you do not like. To do this, you need an idea of what you would like to be described as. Comparing the two descriptions will show you what gaps need to be closed.
- Revisit your online presence and your CV. Keep them updated with what you want your brand to be perceived as and constantly reevaluate yourself. As we act and experience new things, we grow, develop and change and so will your personal brand. Authenticity can only be built through honest reflection and experience.
Till Next Time