This week I celebrated my birthday which puts me under the star sign of Leo. According to various horoscope sites I viewed, this is going to be an amazing year for me. Yeah! I like that and perhaps your stars say the same. The same sites also generalise and say that Leos share similar characteristics. Perhaps we do but I also like to think everyone has unique qualities, strengths, passions and goals, which when realised and nurtured can help us to bring out our personal best and shine.
My main mantra is personal branding which I deliver through speaking, workshops, consulting and my soon to be released new book. Through my time working in this area I have certainly seen an explosion of interest and a lot of “noise” about personal brands both good and not so good. With all this talk about personal branding you might not think that it is important. Sheryl Sandberg, COO at Facebook, when questioned about building a personal brand said, “People are not that simple. We’re not packaged. And when we are packaged, we are ineffective and inauthentic. I don’t have a brand, but I do have a voice”.
What is important is to be authentic. Building a brand is not about being a cookie cutter version of someone else. It is about understanding who you are; what it is you offer and knowing how to be seen and heard so you can impact other people.
Whether you are in your own business; the head of a company or an executive within a corporate environment – these are the three areas I think are important to you right now.
- Your Nook. Which is another word for your niche. What sets you and your brand apart? Knowing your strengths, skills and what you are passionate about can help you clarify what you love to do and the people you love to work with. You also need to understand where your brand sits in the mind of your target market and if others really know who you are and how you can help them.
- Your Look. In any role if you want to be seen as a leader you need to act like one and also look like one. Your clothes and presentation really are the external image of your brand. What brand image are you projecting not only through your communication collateral and the way you look but your presentation skills and networking confidence?
- Your Hook. Once you’ve nailed your niche and expertise and have your brand image and presence working well for you, the next step is to communicate your message.Your message needs to communicated in numerous ways including social media, mainstream media and by face-to-face communication. Understanding the right steps and channels to reach your target audience will ensure you engage others and gain influence to grow your career or business.
If you would like to know more about building your brand download the free, 3-part video series on how you can discover your NOOK, LOOK, HOOK to BUILD A STAND OUT PERSONAL BRAND.
Sue Currie is a speaker, author, consultant and educator recognised as an authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her workshops, professional development programs and brand consulting, Sue