What Message Are You Sending? Developing Your Personal Brand…

March 04, 2015

“Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”- Steve Forbes

An articleI recently read titled,Personal Branding Is a Leadership Requirement, Not a Self-Promotion Campaign, gives insight on how the meaning of personal branding has been misconstrued and may have lost its true meaning and value due to increased importance placed on social media. In the article, the writer states, “A personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are and what you represent as an individual; as a leader.” This can include a strong cohesive social media and web presence; but, contrary to what we’ve been lead to believe, that is not even close to being the most important part of your personal brand.

In order to convey your brand consistently, personal branding takes time and work to develop and maintain. A powerful quote by Zig Ziglar states, “If people like you, they will listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” Your personal brand includes your genuine qualities and characteristics, along with your expertise. If who you are and what you bring to the table evokes a sense of trust from other people, that is when your personal brand is doing its job!

Who are you?

To start building the foundation of developing your personal brand, ask yourself, “Who am I?” Acknowledge and understand key components of your self-image. How you dress, your online presence, personal publications, time-management, how you interact with others, and how you speak are a few key components that can make up a personal brand. You should also ask yourself, “Am I communicating effectively and dressed appropriately so that others will perceive me as respectful, driven, and confident?” Every day you will subconsciously deliver a certain message to your audience or those with whom you come in contact. Will this message portray a level of accountability to help you in your career?

Are you self-aware?

Be observant.  When you are in a meeting, attending networking sessions, facilitating, or even arranging a coffee meet-up, be observant of your audience and how they may perceive the brand that you deliver.  What do you want people to associate your name with? How do you wish for your brand to be perceived? Once you establish what you want to be known for, be cognizant of materials or information that you share on LinkedIn, other social media platforms, personal website, how you engage with others, and how you present yourself. Start building your authentic brand by staying true to your beliefs and vision.

Who is in your network?

To establish a credible brand to help you in your career, surround yourself with quality leaders and peers. Find a mentor and attend personal development meetings, networking groups, etc. to help create a healthy personal brand. Examine those who are in your network and their roles. Use them as a people to bounce ideas off of and learn from them as much as you can.

How can you modify your personal brand, if you need to, in order to be successful? Have you crafted an elevator pitch or mission statement for yourself? Set aside goals you wish to accomplish in your career. And, remember, be consistent and be yourself.

Have you redefined your personal brand? Are you living out your personal brand consistently? 

Posted By: Anastasia Hoosman

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