The term ‘Personal Branding’ has been around for a while, but today more than ever it can be THE key contributor to your success.
Like it or loathe it (and it’s easier to like it) we all have a Personal Brand, it’s how much you choose to focus on it and develop it that matters.
In a 24/7 world, where we feed multiple social and business platforms as part of our daily routine or ‘business as usual’, taking ownership over our Personal Brand is one of the most important things we can do whilst carving our path to success.
Personal Branding allows you to:
- Amplify your presence
- Build Confidence
- Communicate effectively
- Be influential
What is Personal Branding?
It’s you, but in a 3D amplified version.
What I mean by this is: it’s a combination of how you portray yourself, plus your skills, your experience, your tone, your mannerisms.
Personal Brand is the presence you give off when these elements are packaged together and it’s the perception people have of you even if you’re not speaking. The spoken word is just one piece of the Personal Brand puzzle.
Your Personal Brand has a huge influence on how people see you at work. Because another key step to Personal Brand is what others say about you when YOU’RE NOT in the room.
By understanding the elements of Personal Brand and developing the Confidence to present yourself in an authentic way, you can affect how people interact with you, have greater control over situations at work, build trust quickly and be presented with more opportunities overall.
By being visible and providing helpful information online, you’ll become known as a generous teacher (a good reputation to have that helps build trust with your audience).
By unapologetically maintaining firm boundaries, your colleagues and clients will respect your boundaries (which means you’ll stop getting 9pm emails asking for something ‘urgent’).
Personal Brand is about having the CONFIDENCE to show up as your AUTHENTIC self.
Because if the Personal Brand you’re aiming for isn’t genuine, you won’t be able to sustain it. And people will ‘see through it’ quickly. Which means you’ll lose trust quickly, and that’s not good for your reputation at work.
Personal Brand is about enhancing YOU. The amazing qualities you have now, plus the qualities, skills or attributes you want to gain and demonstrate in the future.
Naturally, there may be some areas where you may need to modify your behaviour, and that’s OK. It’s about growing awareness of your own behaviours and also awareness of what’s happening around you. Growing or enhancing your Personal Brand helps you present and perform at your best because you can also ‘read the room’ better.
Let’s take a look at Personal Brands in different work arrangements.
Personal brand as an employee
When you’re an employee, your Personal Brand is part of your reputation at work. It’s how you show up, present yourself, and perform at work.
For example, part of your Personal Brand might include:
- Being the connector who bridges the gap between departments
- Making your boss look AMAZING to their boss and their customers
- The supportive person who listens to colleagues and lifts them up
- A resource or fountain of knowledge who teaches others
- The thoughtful person who cheers people up with GIFs in emails
- The organised person who can coordinate complex projects
But it’s not about trying so hard to please everyone that you end up stretching yourself to burn out.
That’s why your Personal Brand at work can also portray your reputation for:
- Being assertive
- Maintaining boundaries and saying No when you need to
- Confidently leading a team or speaking up in a meeting
- Building great relationships internally and with clients
- Acting as the gatekeeper of your own time and workload
You’ll benefit from highlighting your skills and differences from your colleagues. You want your colleagues to talk about those skills: “she’s good with numbers” or “she has a strong background in marketing” – that’s part of your expertise that you bring to the role. That’s what sets you apart and makes your brand memorable.
Personal Brand as a business owner
When you’re a business owner – especially in a small, service-based business – your Personal Brand is intertwined with your business.
First and foremost, people buy from people they like. So your Personal Brand is a strong attraction for your ideal clients.
Your target clients get to hear your authentic voice through your website, social media and videos. Before they’ve even met you, they have a good idea of what it’ll be like to work with you, based on how you show up online.
With a strong Personal Brand you’ll also benefit from repelling the clients who are not suited to you. That’s right: turning away the wrong type of customers. You don’t have to be all things to all people, so the best outcome is to narrow down your niche, and serve a specific set of ideal customers.
The critical link between Confidence and Personal Brand
In order to build or enhance your Personal Brand you have to be taking action. You have to be visible. You have to be speaking or be present in meetings. You have to be doing a good job. You have to be building good relationships, whether it’s 1:1 or in a group scenario.
You can’t sit back and build a strong Personal Brand, you need to be taking consistent action, which is a foundation for building Confidence too.
When you’re showing up as the best version of yourself, you’ll be happier and your Confidence will be sky high – and it’ll show. As a result, you’ll see people are naturally drawn to a woman who confidently owns her voice.
You’ll become more influential because Confidence is contagious and strong Personal Brands stand out from the crowd.
Like Confidence, Personal Brand starts with putting the spotlight on yourself and the authentic values that matter most to you and that you want to put at the centre of all that you do.
Establishing your BRAND VALUES is the key first step to building your Personal Brand.
Write down your 3-5 (maximum) Brand Values. These are your non-negotiable values that underpin all that you do.
You don’t need to share these with anyone if you don’t want to. These are your values that mean something to you, so be completely honest with yourself and this process. These values are your guiding light. They keep you on track, informed, and become natural boundaries for your focus and performance
As an example, my Brand Values are:
This is a great exercise to bring you back to centre. It helps you identify what matters to you and gets you thinking on how you work to these values today, or what you can change in order to reconnect with them.