WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?
Your personal brand is a way of establishing and consistently reinforcing who you are and what you stand for in your career and life. But personal branding doesn’t actually have to do with you. It’s about who other people know you to be.
As Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO CULTIVATING AND FIGURING OUT WHAT YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IS?
- Don’t brand yourself: Wait, what? The first step in personal branding is not to brand yourself? Here’s the thing…you don’t brand yourself. You ARE yourself. And that creates a brand. So, rather than focusing on filtering your content to show a highlight reel, spend time showing relatable, real life that’s relevant to who YOU are.
- Be self-aware: You want to be aware of the you that others see or perceive. Find some friends or colleagues who will be brutally honest with you and ask them what it’s like being your friend or coworker. And if you hear answers that you weren’t quite expecting you’ll have an idea of where to start with building your personal brand.
- Tell Your Story and Live it Every Single Day! Humans connect with humans, not logos. You need to provide the world with living proof that you are what you say you are. Your story needs to be compelling – to grab peoples’ attention, to be genuine and memorable. Impressions don’t always convert, but connections do. Remember that everything counts. The way you work, the way you play. You’re always being evaluated.
- Deepen the relationships that you have created. As you create current relationships and build on those, you can anticipate your customers’ needs before they can. Surprise them with that. Apple is great at this. Their brand is all about simplicity and convenience. So over the years they have continued to find ways to make customers’ lives simpler and more convenient. We never would have known we needed an apple watch, but how many of us have one?
- Personal branding is an inside-out job. We need to let go of who we think everyone else wants us to be and what we think they want us to share. As soon as you do that, you’ve arrived at being you. Connections will be made — and connections convert.
One key thing to keep in mind with your personal brand—don’t take it too seriously! If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong, and you’ll likely give up before you even get started. And that’s the biggest thing—GET STARTED!