It’s a given that every business needs to have a strong brand in order to be recognised and identified as quickly as possible, wherever they may be seen around the world. But did you realise it’s just as important for you to have a strong personal brand too in your own right?
- To help you stand out in the crowd – does anyone want to be that person whose name other people can’t remember? If you want to stand out professionally people need to bring you to mind easily, for whatever reason that may be (more on that below)
- To build your network – having a strong brand will help you to develop both a professional and personal network
- To give colleagues a deeper insight into you personally and professionally
So how do you go about creating your own brand?
First things first, you have to actually think of yourself as a brand and consider if you are a brand, what message do you want to send out today and any other day? Is it professional, creative, relaxed, for people to think of you as an expert in your field or is it for how you dress (Lady Gaga…)?
Try googling yourself and see what comes up. Is it pictures of you on Facebook out with your friends on Saturday night? And if so are you happy for people to see you in this way? Remember, whatever you put on social media can be accessed by anyone, anywhere.
Just as you may want to be known for being an expert in a particular area, think about what value you provide for others. What can you give your colleagues that is unique to you? It might be as simple as delivering reports a day earlier than agreed; always giving more on delivery of projects or even the smile you greet everyone with. This isn’t about being too helpful, it’s about giving others more than they expect from you and becoming known for this.
Think about what you say and how you say it – it all matters and is noted by others.
Did you know who you spend time with impacts on how people perceive you? Jim Rohn said ‘You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with’. Think about that. Who do you spend your time with and what impression might that give other people of you, and more importantly does that tie in with the brand you want to portray?
And finally, what’s your story? Everyone has a story and a strong story equals a strong brand (think Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey), what does your story say about you?
Let’s go back to the beginning, if you want to stand out in a crowd you need to be known for being you, so grab yourself a piece of paper and start writing down your vision of how you want others to see you…. then take it from there.