Personal brand is a matter of continually crafting and curating your presence both digitally and personally. But, most importantly, it is about keeping it real.
Long gone are the days when you could get away without having a well-developed personal brand. With the gaining popularity of several social media channels, more and more people are investing heavily in both developing and refining their personal brand to optimise their exposure through their online presence and profile. But, how seriously do you take your personal brand?
Well, first things first – just what is a personal brand?
Like the brand of a company (their logo, tone of voice, values and mission, choice of colours, etc), a personal brand must move far beyond what your website and business cards look like. It is you – uniquely you. It allows you to distinguish yourself from everyone else.
What is unique about who you are and what you do?
A personal brand should reflect:
- your social and cultural background,
- your physical traits,
- and your charisma, etc
Your personal brand is about making your appearance, skills and talents known.
Personal branding investment is both a personal and company’s benefit.
If we think about this, it really makes sense! Companies are always looking to get a competitive advantage and many began to see their employees as strong personal brands that would serve as an extension of the ideals and image the company itself was attempting to portray.
So regardless of whether it is for personal reasons or if you wish to improve your efforts as part of the organisation you work with, if you really want to optimise your personal brand there are a few aspects you should pay particular attention to.
An important quality of a successful personal brand is authenticity. By being yourself, revering your own personality, physical features, experiences and cultural and social background, your true essence will shine through while the opposite will make you untrustworthy and come across as superficial or fake. Your audience will respect you as a professional and look up to you which leads to better outcomes since people prefer to ‘buy’ from those they trust, admire and value.
People with a strong personal brand continually invest in acquiring and disseminating knowledge in their area of expertise. People love receiving tips and ideas, especially from those they look up to. The information shared must align with your brand ensuring that you remain consistent with who you are, personally and professionally. When we share information beyond our specific discipline expertise, we risk coming across as an expert of “all things”. This can detract from the image we are trying to promote.
#3 Dress to impress
Dress the part. Never underestimate the importance of dressing well. Remember you represent your personal brand or that of your company at all times. This includes attendance at meetings, conferences and all social events.
Wherever you go, you are a walking showroom of both your organisation and your personal brand. So, make sure your closet is impeccably designed and full of quality classic neutral pieces. This saves you precious time and will be perceived as professional, respectful, competent and you will always able to portray the image you are after. I personally have heard from executives that they felt they could not promote a talented staff member simply because of how he or she presented themselves.
Since personal branding has come to stay and continues to grow in importance, it is crucial to understand the implications of creating and maintaining yours to the very best of your ability.
Remember that developing a great personal brand doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and is achieved through a well-planned approach in order to communicate your purpose and mission to your audience in a genuine way.
Whether you’re looking for a better job or more sales, investing in your personal brand in a meaningful and purposeful way is critical. You don’t need to be Oprah or Richard Branson to have a great personal brand. It’s just a matter of continually crafting and curating your presence digitally and personally and most importantly, keeping it real. Your honesty, transparency and authenticity are what will differentiate you from your competition.
Always remember, you never get a second chance to make a lasting first impression. So, make yours one that will set you apart. Build trust and portray your inner essence as both a person and a professional.