The way you dress, the manner of your speech, your work, your social media activities – all accumulate to give the world an image about you. This image, at the end of the day can be linked to something called Personal Branding. When you own a one-person company or a medium sized business or if you are a CEO, personal branding becomes very important. In such situations, you are the Company and you represent it. People like Steve Jobs, Bill Gate and Large Page’s personal branding has greatly helped in the growth and branding of their own companies.
Believe it or not, everyone has an image; just take a look around you. There will be the funny people, the people who are a stickler for rules, the people who are geeks and so and so forth. While all of them have an image, they rarely use it to brand themselves.
First you need to decide how you want people to look at you. You need to enhance your professional points as well as valued ones. Think in three points.
– What are you about: What are the words, ideas and thoughts you want to be associated with? For example Steve Jobs- Apple, Alan Moore – graphic novels. Decide on a few words you want to be associated with.
– Expertise: You want your name to be related with your expertise. A person like Jack Welch (Neutron Jack) is known for making tough choices and getting a company back on its feet.
– Style: This is going to be the most important part of your branding. First introspect and take a look at your own style, understand and see what you can improve on. Maybe you are not punctual or are dressed too casually (or too formally!). You can change that. At the same time, you can use your style to create a unique image about you.
Now that you have a set of goals ready, you know how you would want the world to perceive you. So make sure you are doing just that.
– Online Presence: In today’s day and age as a professional, the world expects you to have an online presence, whether it is through a social media network, websites or blogs. The content you post online should reflect the goals you have decided on. If you are portraying your expertises as a graphic designer or a content writer or an expert in management, make sure that your blog, website and social media profile prove that you are that expert.
– Meeting People: When you meet people, mentally take a step back and note how you are saying things, what body language you are giving out, etc. Such things are important because they are sending message across about your brand image. You want to be confident and fluent in your speech.
Give meaning to your personality
Many assume personal branding is about change, it is not. Unless you really feel that you have a serious character flaw, there is no need to change yourself. Personal branding is about putting your strengths forward. For example, if you are known to be a silent type – for personal branding you can convert this to mean that you listen very well and when you do speak, you speak smart content.
Personal Branding is not just if you are a business person. Whether you are an artist, a student looking for employment or even a driver, personal branding can always work for you.