Yes, you might not think of yourself as a “brand” but you are. We all have a personal brand whether we recognize and embrace it or not (and many do not). Everyone you know is perceived by others and perception is reality in many cases. In today’s tech saturated world, we have a physical and a digital self. The juxtaposition of the two oftentimes conflict as a growing majority of us put our best foot (and face) forward online way more than any time or focus spent on our presence offline.
A reputation used to be something people spoke about with regards to the quality of someone’s character. That definition has morphed as a result of the era we live in where not only what you do in “real” life affects that reputation but what you post, state, “like” or publish on the internet, that is viewed by people you know (and many that you do not) in a split second can be elevated or marred.
This is why all decisions made, both personal and professional, could affect your personal brand as a CEO, a business owner, or as an individual. A personal brand is constantly (and cumulatively) being cultivated and that being the case is why, what you do NOW, the interactions you have, could in one, or three or five years, pave the way for opportunity and success or could come back to haunt you in some manner.
Understanding how to strategically position and market your personal brand can help you land a coveted role, close a deal, negotiate funding, engage positively and shine a light on your best traits that differentiate you from well, everyone else.
With the whirlwind of social media, our lives are now fast tracked for all to see (and judge). Be sure you balance where you show up by choosing dedicated mediums then offer thought leadership, and educate, inform or entertain your audience. Always try to avoid being controversial unless that is your regular jam or what you are known for (we all know someone who stirs the proverbial pot).
Find in-person networking options as well so that you work on people-to-people skills, set up coffee chats, or schedule a working lunch. These types of events allow us to interact as humans are meant to and this helps build and solidify our personal brand with a live touch point.
In today’s business landscape, whether corporate, small biz or entrepreneurial, personal branding is bridging the gap for people to become known for what makes them unique. We all grow up hearing “there is no other YOU” and “Just be YOU” and yet as we edge into adulthood, many of us end up trying to blend in. Well, it is time to brush the dust off that way of thinking as shaping your personal brand should be simply about highlighting those “things” that make YOU remarkable and finding messaging that succinctly shares your distinct story.
We all offer golden nuggets, what are yours?