Personal Brand? What has that got to do with me? I don’t work in marketing and I’m certainly not planning to be an Influencer anytime soon.
“Your personal brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Jeff Bezos.
Our personal brand encompasses everything that affects how people view us and respond to us.
So, it’s about other people’s perceptions? It’s not really in our control then…we can’t possibly control what others think.
Beware of thinking in this way!
If we don’t define our own personal brand, then we allow others to interpret what they want about us…and this could have some pretty far-reaching consequences.
Instead, we could enable our personal brand to work positively for us.
Are you known for the right stuff?
Whether we like it or not (or are even aware of it) we’re always known for something.
This could be related to our positive or negative attributes.
We could be known for something directly linked to the quality of our work or for something else which proves to distract our stakeholders (and detract from us).
Wherever we are, it’s useful to clearly understand our starting point. For better or worse.
And that’s the best part, it is just a starting point and we can move forward from here.
We can define how we want to be seen and then do something proactive to enable this.
This isn’t magic. It is within our reach. I’m talking about managing our personal brand.
Managing our personal brand
Yes, branding is about others’ perceptions. But we can certainly influence how we want others to perceive us.
Our personal brand (the noun) is very much within our control when we’re intentional about it.
Personal branding (the action) is our way of taking control of this. It’s a way of first establishing how we want to be known and then consistently reinforcing who we are and what we stand for. Within our work and in other parts of our lives.
Everything that we do either supports, strengthens, or dilutes the personal brand we’re trying to create. Whether we’ve been conscious of it (or not) up until now.
Each of us has a personal brand and everything we do strengthens, supports or dilutes our brand.
This feels as empowering as it is scary!
How can we define our Personal Brand?
I have a couple of questions for you:
Firstly, what do you want to be known for? Be honest with yourself here.
Secondly, how closely does this align with what you’re known for today?
Often this isn’t the polar opposite of where we are right now. But it is a crisper, more focused version of who we are today. Sometimes minus anything that might be causing distractions from how we really want to be seen.
What’s your Personal brand?
OK, so maybe let’s start with a slightly easier question.
What are you known for today?
This may require some reflection away from your work. You may also want to ask people you trust for 3-5 words to describe you.
You may be known for some positive traits: being hardworking, efficient, able to connect the dots, and simplifying complex concepts.
Maybe you’ve known for less positive reasons: being the arsey one, the one that disrupts plans or takes conversations off-course. You may need to take a good honest look in the mirror to see these ones. Even your most honest supporters may not be quite that honest with you.
How does this align with how you want to be known?
The great thing is that you can shape and strengthen your brand accordingly. This may not happen overnight – we’re all wary of those managers coming back from training courses with apparent personality transplants that don’t ultimately stick.
But given that everything that we do either supports strengthens, or dilutes the personal brand we’re trying to create, we’ve continually got opportunities to work on this and to consciously and consistently work on how we want to show up and be seen.
Could you do with some help in this area? To sharpen up how you’re showing up?
We all have a personal brand whether we know it or not. It’s basically what we’re known for by others.
We also each have an opportunity to shape and strengthen how we want to show up. Being intentional and consistent will help you to build a strong, clear brand.
Thanks for reading. Check out other Blue Diamond articles to help you take control of your work and life.