Your personal brand is what other people say about you when you leave the room.
I remember reading the first fashion blog I had ever heard of – The Daybook Blog. The author’s voice was charming, the images were gorgeous and her style was drool-worthy. Five posts in and I felt like we were buds – I knew her family, work woes, likes and dislikes.
And her endearing blog was no accident. She knew the power of her brand, saw value in it and managed it flawlessly. Years later, she’s a well-known blogger who gets paid to dress up and write about it.
Developing a personal brand is similar to product branding. The overall goal with branding is to differentiate yourself (i.e. the product) so you can achieve your objectives.
Personal branding is a pretty clear process, borrowed from excellent best practices in product branding:
- Define your brand and brand attributes
- Position your brand in a different way than your competitors
- Manage all aspects of your brand
Define Your Brand
With the advent of social media and its broad range of abusers, it seems like few of us have consciously cultivated personal brands. But they exist nonetheless.
You are already a brand. But you might not be aware of what your brand stands for or what it is communicating. That level of awareness is what sets successful people apart from the pack.
You’ve got to put in time to understand your brand and ways to communicate it in order to nail this whole personal branding thing. Start by understanding what your personal brand is today:
- Begin to think of yourself the same way Apple thinks of itself, as a brand
- Take stock of your online presence
- Create eminence opportunities (go ahead, Google the word eminence)
Discover Your Differentiators
You have to know why you are unique and why your brand stands out. Much talking about myself and years of online stalking has yielded a few easy practices in starting the journey to self discovery:
- Write down five strengths and five weaknesses
- Identify five attributes or traits you admire in others and write those down
The trick to personal branding is extreme self-awareness. Know what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. This takes time and reflection, but identifying these qualities is a good place to start.
Manage Your Brand
Personal branding can be frustrating. Especially when you start to become intentional with social media.
As a leader, you must know the variables that define your personal brand and hold yourself accountable to manage them. No one but you can manage your brand.
- Conduct regular online/social media audits
- Regularly update your mission, vision and value statements
- Test new platforms for promotion
In order to become an expert, you need to understand the importance of deliberate branding. Check out my strengths and weaknesses post to see how you can deep dive into the process.
Now that you know you have a personal brand, will you choose to nurture your brand or to let it be defined on your behalf?
For more personal branding tips, tricks and plain ol' fun, visit www.themodernbrander.com.