Wouldn’t it be nice to be the person that achieves all the goals you can only dream of? Luckily, this person exists, and it is standing right in front of you every time you look in the mirror. To understand this person and to bring her to life you need a little help from Personal Branding.
What is Personal Branding anyways
One of the definitions of the Brand is “a particular identity or image regarded as an asset”. First thing that comes to mind is a corporation, right? But people can also add to their assets with a decent Personal Brand Management. Most of the celebrities and politicians are aware of the power of Personal Branding, and employ a mass of consultants to work with them on its development and maintenance.
Good Personal Branding makes people see you exactly the way you want to be seen. By no means does it imply playing people around, it is rather being consistent in the authentic image you project into the world. It is all about who you want to be, creating yourself and following suit in all the situations life puts you in.
Why do you need Personal Branding
Personal branding plays a crucial role in forming the first impression. Not a secret, once formed the first impression is very hard to change. Sometimes you won’t even get a chance for the second trial. And even when you are given, the danger you might not be perceived as talented or creative right away, your better-than-expected next impressions can be attributed to either a luck or viewed with suspicion.
Another advantage of Personal Branding is focus and direction that you are getting since you know where do you want to get and what type of person should you be to get there. This makes difficult decisions easier once you develop consistency in your behaviour and learn how to apply your own Personal Brand as a filter to any situation (Would my ideal self say yes or no to this opportunity?).
Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, which Personal Branding manages in the best way possible. First, you need to become aware of them, next, work on enhancing and highlighting your strong sides and reducing the weak ones. Your consistency increases your credibility, whereas authenticity highlights your uniqueness, both making you more memorable and increasing your chances to succeed – being it a job interview, winning a client, or getting a “yes” from your Boss.
How to create your own Personal Brand
Personal branding requires a lot of work and discipline, and should always be a work in progress. Below you can find an overview on where to start and how to go about it. Remember, you should be ethical in all your decisions!
1. Create your ideal self:
- What are your life goals?
- What type of person should you be to achieve your goals? (That includes what this person should wear, how to behave, what type of story the online presence of this person should tell about her?).
- Use role models to help you to create a full picture, but remember to be authentic.
- What are your values to live by? If you don’t have any, take enough time to think of them properly.
2. Identify what is the current perception that people have about you:
- This is very hard to get, especially if you have some things to work on. People don’t feel comfortable telling somebody’s minuses in their face. If you manage to receive an honest but not so positive comments about you, don’t try to defend yourself – be very thankful that the person actually told you the truth.
- You can organize an anonymous opinion collection (even online).
- Ask somebody to share all the traits you need to work on with a third person. And that third person to tell it to you. It makes it slightly easier to share a negative feedback.
- Your strong points and overall perception by others shouldn’t cause you much difficulties to obtain.
3. Compare the two lists, identify the gaps and create lists of:
- Things to improve.
- Strong sides that help you in Personal Branding.
- New skills you need to learn.
- Bad habits and other things you need to get rid of.
4. Create a strategy and schedule to work on the items from the previous point.
- Set a manageable timeline, too ambitious one can discourage you after the first missed deadline, and too relaxed one won’t motivate you enough to get into the action.