Building Your Personal Brand

For many people, recognizing that they have a “personal brand” may be a foreign concept. After all, products have brands, right? Yes, that’s true but so do you! And, if you’re a business professional, you should realize that your services, whether as an entrepreneur, or an employee, are not commodities. To set yourself apart from your competition, it’s crucial to develop and promote your own, unique, personal brand. So how do you do it? We’ve covered the topic of personal branding in the past, but it’s one that’s certainly worth revisiting.

Personal branding follows pretty much the same process as branding for a business, product or service. Here’s how it works:

First, Define Your Goal

The first step is determining how you would like to be perceived — e.g. the attributes you want to be known for — and then determining how you currently are perceived. Your branding efforts would need address any gaps that you discovered, and you would attempt to influence your target audience in ways designed to close those gaps.

Next, Take a Personal Inventory and Identify Gaps

Take an objective look at your current brand. Consider asking friends, colleagues and family to help define your current brand. Writing for Forbes, about building a personal brand, Shama Hyder says, “You can’t mold perception without first understanding the current status. In other words, Google yourself, and set up alerts for your name on a regular basis. Have a fairly common name? Consider using your middle initial or middle name to differentiate. Cultivating a strong personal brand is just as much about being responsive to what is being said as it is about creating intellectual property.”

Close the Gaps

Importantly, just as when considering business brands, it is the sum total of a wide range of individual interactions that go into defining our personal brand. Also important to understand is that we do not define our brands — our audience does. The best we can do is to attempt to influence their perceptions in various ways by ensuring that we are conveying a consistent image in alignment with our desired brand. Entrepreneur offers some specific tips for establishing a brand, as does the Hyder article linked above.

 

There are any number of business strategies that can be applied to your personal life, and branding is no exception. Unless you want to be a commodity (you don’t), pay close attention to your brand!

 

Recommended Reading:

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

 

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