“You” the Brand

Branding and Leadership

I have written elsewhere on this blog about branding, brand values and building a brand equity. This has all been targeted towards business and individual companies in particular.

I have also written about leadership, and the perceptions of those around you built up from everything you say, do and the way that you act when off guard.

There is a cross over between these two areas to something called ‘Personal Branding’.

What is your Personal Brand?

What is your Personal Brand?

What defines you in the business workplace is a blend of:

  • your experience and skills
  • your personality and interpersonal style

We all know people that are gifted academically but socially challenged.  To be successful you need to be rounded and you need to be congruent with your actions, speech and writing. Essentially everything has to line up in one direction and people need to see this and whats more they need to identify with it.

In years gone by people that worked hard for their company got recognised and promoted, this is no longer enough, you need to market yourself.

Test your Brand Values

So just as a company needs a set of brand values so do you. Think about what they might be, try this exercise:

  1. Write down 5 values that you want brand “You” to stand for
  2. Then write down 5 values that you admired in people that have influenced or shaped you, they could be parents, siblings, teachers or managers.
  3. Mix up the list and then ask 3 friends/colleagues to look at the list and tick which of the values they feel you exhibit.
  4. Add up the ticks and divide by 3, what is your score?
  5. If its 10 give yourself a pat on the back, and buy your friends a drink and stop reading this post.
  6. If its less than 10 you need to read on.

Your brand is what people say about you

Remember it’s not what you say about yourself it’s what others say about you when you are not around so its partly reputation. To be successful you need to be memorable to those you meet and work with but for the right reasons.

Think about how other people can form an opinion of you, here are 10 significant things:

  1. The way you look, what you wear, personal grooming
  2. The way talk, confidence and sense
  3. The way you write
  4. The way you interact with others, intelligently, empathy, charisma
  5. How you act when you lose your temper with things or people
  6. How you react to success and failure
  7. What you post on social media
  8. What you say about others when they are not there
  9. The kind of jokes you think are funny
  10. Your interests, books, music

Remember that for your personal brand to have integrity it needs to be consistent and congruent across this entire spectrum of interaction.

Whilst you can control these things to some extent your brand is dictated by what people say and think about you and here’s the interesting thing. You can’t control that because it is dictated by the values of the other people. Furthermore people will only recognise values in you if they hold them close or aspire to them themselves.

Create your brand and market it!

First define your brand values, choose between 4 and 6 but take heed from the exercise earlier in the post. You can’t start with 6 shiny brand values that you get from the internet but which nobody recognises in you.

Think about the tools you have for leveraging your brand, the things that you need to make congruent with your chosen brand values,  these are typically:

  • Your CV or Resume
  • Your Linkedin profile
  • Your email address
  • Your Business Card and Job Title
  • Your predominant brand colour
  • Your past work or portfolio
  • Your FaceBook and Twitter profile
  • Your website
  • Your business and casual clothes

Then you need to decide what you want to do with it because unless you are proactive none of this will make much difference.

  • Be memorable and distinctive, stand out from the crowd but for the right reasons
  • Become the ‘go to’ person, become a great asset to the people you work for
  • Gain self esteem, let people know what you can do by doing it
  • Think about people rather than money, do things to help without just focussing on what’s in it for you
  • Endorse others for their achievements, what goes around comes around remember what others say about you is more powerful than what you say about yourself.
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