Personal brand is a hot topic these days, especially in our competitive job market. What is it, how do you get it and how do you manage it once it’s established? The key to all three is alignment. Your personal brand is the way people see you and it’s ideally aligned with who you really are. You get it by seeking feedback and you manage it by living up to your full potential. Feeling puzzled?
Here are three ways to help you get started:
Ask For Information
We can’t see ourselves clearly, so we need to look for outside feedback to check what we’re putting out there. Choose ten people in your circle and ask them for three words they’d use to describe you. If you’re surprised by the results, it’s a sign it’s time to put a little work into refining your brand. Those that have the strongest personal brands know exactly who they are and exactly how they’re perceived and play to their strengths.
Choose the Words You’d Like to Use
From the feedback you gathered, what were the top three to five words that people used to describe you? Decide if those are words that work for you. For example, if everyone describes you as serious, decide if that word feels best or if there’s another word that you’d prefer to use such as dignified, solemn or somber. A thesaurus will come in handy. Ideally, choose three to five words that you like and that describe you well.
Once you’ve chosen your personal brand words, examine all areas of your life to see if they line up with that set of words. For example, if one of your brand words is fun, how is that reflected throughout your life? If it’s integrity, what might you need to do to ensure your appearance, behaviour and communication all fall in line? When you do something that isn’t in alignment with your brand, acknowledge it, make the course correction and keep moving.
More than anything personal brand is character. Which strengths do you have, which parts would you like to strengthen and which principles guide your life?