Branding.. What is Your Personal Brand?
Personal band. What does it mean? Where does it apply? What is your personal brand?
According to Wikipedia, personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. Companies invest thousands of dollars into branding. The logos, jingles, and tag lines. Investing in great branding pays off. As a result, we buy these products again and again or recommend them. But what about your personal brand? Do you know what your brand is or have a clue of what you want it to be? Ask yourself, how do people think of and remember you? If you don’t know, ask someone that will give you candid feedback.
A well thought-out executed personal brand will help you grow you career, business, or simply yourself wherever you are in life. You have to think about the overall picture; not just in the here and now. If your ultimate goal is to be a manager of people, do you carry yourself as a leader? Or do you involve yourself with the petty drama in the office? If leading a team is your ultimate goal, work on developing a brand that will make you stand out as someone that has leadership skills and presence. Invest in growing people and mentoring colleagues to expand their skills.. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur, carry yourself and your company with how you would like people to think about your business.
Be genuine in your personal brand. Having a personal brand does not mean be fake. People will see through actions that are insincere. So be genuine in what you believe, your core values, and what you stand for. Your personal brand should not be motivated for personal gain only. Be kind, respectful and compassionate. If you are putting on a show for personal gain alone, people will see right through the act and you will lose credibility.
Over the years I had many great mentors and leaders. Each one taught me something different but one of best advice I was given was “act as if”. Act as if the CEO of your company is observing you, listening to how you express yourself, evaluating what kind of teammate you are, determining how you contribute as an individual. Act as if every client had the capacity to change the trajectory of your business with one small simple review. Nowadays with social media and things going viral one comment or review could impact your business in a positive or negative way.
Which brings me to the next topic and most crucial, social media. Have you seen the meme of the kid grabbing a lady’s breast and the caption says, “This poor kid doesn’t know it yet but he can never run for political office now”. It’s funny but so true! What you post in social media is there FOREVER!!!! Think about that. You are branding yourself on social media with every post, comment, like, share. If you are bashing someone on the internet and a colleague or client sees your comment, how will that change their perception of you? How will that change your clients thoughts about you and your business? Consider your audience. We seem to forget and we need to be reminded; think before you tweet.
Doing the right thing even when no one is watching, or so you think. At a career development event I attended the speakers were top Executives from a Fortune 500 company. The topic was Interviewing Skills and Best Practices. One of the Executives shared that after every interview he asks his assistant how the candidate interacted with him or her. If the candidate was rude or dismissive, the Executive would not hire that person. He did not care if the candidate was qualified or knocked the interview out of the park. The Executive would not hire someone that did not treat others with respect no matter what their role was. The Executive said, “it could be the janitor for all I care. If you can’t treat people with respect, I do not want you on my team”. This statement not only spoke volumes of his team’s dynamic but him as a leader as well.
Think about your brand; your legacy. It doesn’t matter if you working woman, or a PTA mom, or a student in college. Where ever you are in life, we all have a brand. What will yours be?