We live in a connected world where reputation matters more than ever before. It’s no longer good enough just to do a good job – you need others to know who you are, what you do and what you’re great at. This is what lies at the core of personal branding; it’s what people say about you when you’re not around. In order to find the most success, you must take conscious control of the messages you project. To do this, you must create a consistent brand that others find easy to talk about.
Here are three basic foundations to do that.
Stop trying to be somebody you’re not.
It’s easier said than done, but the truth is that, once you identify what you’re great at, what truly motivates you and your core value set, it is so much simpler to be yourself. The danger in not doing this is significant. How can others around you understand and trust your brand if you don’t? Taking the time to get to know who you are and what you stand for will help you to avoid diluting and weakening your opportunity to clearly differentiate yourself. You’ll be seen as transparent and get talked about for the right reasons.
How To Do It: Create 1 hour of thinking space in your diary each week for the next 3 weeks, to get some clarity on your authentic brand.
Consider the following:
- What do you excel at?
- What do others always say you’re great at?
- What experiences in life enable you to do the things you’re good at so brilliantly?
- What are your key drivers in life?
- What principles do you stand by?
Start constructing these into a brand statement – a few sentences that sum up the person you are and what you’re great at.
Ask others who know you well for some feedback. What few words would they use to describe you? What do you do best? What could you do better? Use this feedback to ‘map over’ how you see yourself and identify your action points.
Package your brand consciously.
It’s no good having a defined brand and then not consistently packaging it. Think of this as the outer wrapping that attracts others to you, makes people want to listen to you and follow you on social media.
How To Do It: When you have more clarity on what your brand truly is, think about the layers you can add every day in your interactions that reinforce this brand.
Consider the following:
- The first impression you create when you enter the room. Does it smack of credibility or apology?
- Your voice – does it hold interest or bore? Get some feedback.
- Your dress & appearance – your wardrobe should be an extension of your brand, not get in the way of it
Project your brand with memorable impact.
You now need to consider how you’re going to get your brand ‘out there’ and become known for what you’re great at. Your exposure and visibility is vital and you need to manage it proactively.
How To Do It: Create a visibility plan so that you can strategically increase your exposure in your target market. Who needs to know you, where do you need to be seen and heard?
Consider these things:
- How do you make your conversations about the other person? You’ll be more memorable when you focus on them.
- How good are you presenting ? Make a diligent effort to work on your skills as this is a fantastic way to increase your visibility.
- Do you schoomze in the same circles as your target market? Networking in the right groups is essential.
Keep it going – do something positive and creative every day that adds a layer to your brand – it will quickly become a habit.