- Is Personal Branding More Than Marketing?
Is Personal Branding More Than Marketing?
Everyone has a personal brand in their business life and their personal life. Your brand is not about marketing a prescribed persona to get more sales, a raise or a new job. Your brand is the perceptions of you that have been built from your personal connections. Defining your brand is a process of understanding what people know, think and trust about you and then managing that perception effectively.
As the web trends more and more towards social networking, your personal brand is becoming increasingly more important. Every time you post to LinkedIn, tweet, comment on or share something on the internet you are affirming your brand. Inconsistent behaviors impact people’s perception of you which weakens your brand and negatively impacts your credibility.
If you take the time to invest in yourself, you will ultimately have easier access to jobs, clients will seek you out, partners will come to you and in general your business life will flow much more smoothly. If you do not take an active role in defining your brand, others will define it for you.
Clarifying Your Brand
Before “publishing” your brand to the world, you first need to get clear on what exactly your brand is to yourself. A strong brand stands on the following 3 platforms.
Distinctive – What unique value do you bring to the table? What problems can you solve better than anyone? What are your core competencies, expertise and demonstrated abilities? What are you deeply passionate about? Your personal brand is based on your values not the other way around.
Relevance – How does your human brand align with your business’ brand, stakeholders, spouse, family members or friends? How aware are you of what is important to others? David McNally defines relevance as something we earn by the importance others place on what we do for them and by their judgements of how well we do it.
Consistent – What does your track record say about your ability to deliver over and over? Are you trying to be relevant to everyone instead of focusing on the most important relationships? What is your level of dependability? Consistency is taking what you do and keeping it relevant and doing it over and over again.
Creating a Brand Action Plan
Values should guide and establish parameters for your behavior. Good decisions are more difficult to make when your values are not clearly defined. Go through the following exercises to gain brand clarity and authenticity.
- Establish a benchmark. Where am I now? Ask friends, family, co-workers, bosses and clients what adjectives they would use to describe you. The more information, good and bad, you have about how others perceive you the more you can learn.
- Define where you want to go. Do you need to consciously change your brand? How can you capitalize on your strengths and what weaknesses do you need to work on? Take an emotional and functional SWOT analysis and address any gaps found.
- Develop an action plan. What steps do you need to take to live an integrated life between work and home? Define the actions that will build the brand you want.
- Reassess regularly. Are you effectively realigning your actions as you or your organization’s immediate and long-term goals change? Get feedback regularly to determine if your actions are creating the brand you desire. Make adjustments to your plan as necessary.
Conveying a Strong Personal Brand
Once your personal brand is defined, the next step is to convey it to the world.
Step one is to express your brand in a clear and concise way. What you do and who you are should all fit into one clear sentence. Your brand statement is what you want to be known for. It conveys what people can expect from you and the impact you want to have on your brand.
As an Executive Coach, my brand statement is, “I connect, engage, and evolve people personally and professionally to become brilliant leaders.’
The secret to growing a strong personal brand is to first come up with a crystal clear value proposition, then refine it into an easy-to-convey idea and finally to push that brand into the world in every conceivable channel. Remember to think before you click and be smart about everything you put in the digital space.
A successful manager taps into talents and resources with the purpose of supporting and bringing out the best in the individual and team. An executive coach can help you maximize the human talent present in your company regardless of where they work. If you’re interested in exploring a coaching relationship contact Bill Burtch at Harmony for a consultation at 901-272-7390 or firstname.lastname@example.org