How To Develop Your Personal Branding Strategy
Standing out from the crowd has always been a challenge as well as a desire for many. If, until recently, making yourself known was an issue of acquiring media space/time, now we all have access to free media we can use to get our image across.It’s enough to google your new next door neighbour or the new colleague at work and you’ll have at least a couple of sources of information regarding the person.
Friends, employers, business partners, be sure that all of them are looking you up online. And as not all of them get to know you well enough in real life, what they find will be the premises of your personal brand in their eyes.
Either you want it or not, your personal brand is out there and people are interacting with it. Sometimes well before they get to interact with you in person.
Here’s what you need to do in order to manage this interaction and make sure the picture of you they paint for themselves is the right one.
Start seeing yourself as a BRAND
Sometimes all you need to do is just look at things from a different perspective because they are already there. And yes, you are already a Brand! Your name, your skills, your identity and preferences make your personal brand. Start seeing it and try to define it first by knowing it very well.
You need to know your capabilities as well as your limitations, your desires and aspirations and like any other brand, your direction and strategy. Sense your potential, work your best skills and last, but not least, promote your qualities and strengths.
When you start to see yourself through the “lens of a brand” your perspective will change and you will become more mindful about how you approach the personal brand you are trying to define and aiming to live.
Be your best AUTHENTIC self
Authenticity is the best business card. You can think of your brand as a building under constant construction and your personality as the foundation. Building something on top an uncertain and undefined base won’t last. So keep in mind that in personal branding, like in many other domains, being your best authentic self is the strongest and most powerful tool you have in building your brand healthy and successful.
Remember authenticity stems from personal, sincere opinions and conscious choices as well as a strong personal system of values and beliefs!
Be CREDIBLE and manage your REPUTATION
In the infinite source of information floating around the WWW maintaining credibility can be a hard job. Credibility can be the only key that can unlocks your door to success. Make sure you are consulting the right and most trustworthy sources when reading and reviewing any piece of information and always try to triple check when you put your name on a piece of content. Reputations goes hand in hand with credibility, and both are best bets for your chance to success.
Don’t try to sell yourself
If you focus on selling yourself as a product you are doing it wrong. You know why? Because by doing it this way you are not putting the right value on you, you are just temporary selling a product that is part of your work, but this is not ensuring you any further outcomes or any further value related to your brand. You are a brand you must promote yourself. When promoting you are not quite selling anything you are just making sure that your messages and your offers reach the target audience.
Don’t do catch’em all networking
There is no better way to enhance your personal brand than by being social. Going to events, attending conferences, seminars, workshops is a great personal branding tactic. But not all networking is created equal. Your time is precious and, sometimes, scarcity means added value. Just think of diamonds.
Your focus should always be on the things that are most important first. Don’t look at every social event, no matter the topic, as an opportunity to promote your brand, because not every glove fits every hand. You may first want to pick the most appropriate type of events for your profile and try to identify the real opportunities.
Don’t STOP learning!
Make sure you remain the student of your industry. No matter the topic, we see each day the constant and sometimes overwhelming increase of data and research available. So take your updates from the best, acknowledge and learn the latest methods and strategies and make sure you are always up to date with all the fresh information. You want to be actual, present and always dependable for your potential clients or partners. So learn, learn and grow your brand!
The idea of writing this article came from a podcast I was listening to recently. Human Being Inc. by Robin Sharma, author of the bestseller ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’. What he was proposing was a shift in perceptive; he wanted us to try to imagine our lives as businesses or companies in order to get to the point where we realize we are in charge and, in the end, we really are the CEOs of our lives.
by Simona Neicu, Attitude Makers Contributor