During my recent holiday break apart from celebrating and relaxing with family and friends, one task I undertook was to tidy my office in preparation for the year ahead. My bookshelf is now looking a lot more presentable.
I dusted off a few shelves and discovered a few old books including the classic book, Psycho-Cybernetics written by Maxwell Maltz. He was one of the first authors in the self-help movement which started in the 1960s. Maltz was a cosmetic surgeon and came to the conclusion that fixing scars on the outside did not always heal the scars on the inside.
I write about personal branding and image in my book IMPRESSario – Present and Promote the Star Within you. But I do realise that not all that glitters is gold. When I talk about image I don’t mean if we get the outside look right everything will be fine. We still need to work on things like negativity, pessimism and anger – and most of all our own self-doubts and fears.
As a new year often heralds a renewal, perhaps it is also time for us to refresh and revitalize our own personal brands. Here are a few tips to help you shine.
Shake It Off. Personal branding in my opinion is about making the most of who you are – changing what you can – and accepting what you can’t. Learn to identify your positive qualities and project the positive side of you. Often we don’t realise how we come across to other people and for many of us the issue is generally how we feel about ourselves – our self-image. Our self-esteem influences our behaviour, actions, moods and relationships with people. To reinvent yourself and regain your mojo think back to a time when you nailed it, received an award, gave a great presentation or won a piece of business and then – just shake it off. Shake off fear
Shake off self-doubt
Shake off self-pity
Shake off imposter syndrome
Hello. Make a fabulous first impression. Your personal brand is communicated by how you act. Let more of the authentic you come across – in a mindful way of course. Proudly share your accomplishments and put your opinion across. Ask others about themselves and listen to their stories. A polished presence includes awareness of business manners, netiquette and social skills – it’s the ‘little things’ that count.
Invest in you and reinvent your style. Your dress and appearance play a major role in how you express your personal brand. It’s time to clear out the old and bring in the new. Go through your wardrobe and get rid of anything that doesn’t serve you well any more. Start afresh and begin to build a wardrobe showing your uniqueness and image you'd like to project. Balance your individual style with clothing that will appeal to you but also appropriate for the work you do. Update other items outside of work – new gym clothes or sleepwear. Even a small purchase will revitalise you, your look and how you feel.
Network. Get out there. Turn off the computer and social media and connect in person. There are always networking events on in every town and city and they are a wonderful way to get to know others. Don’t think of networking as prospecting. It is about meeting like-minded people who you can build rapport with and perhaps eventually a working relationship. Be part of your industry association and go along to conferences and regular meetings. You will always learn something from these encounters and as a bonus build awareness of you and your brand.
Environment, such as the company you work for or the company you keep. Who are your friends, alliances and partners? If you have your own business, your collateral such as logos and brochures reflect the brand but for anyone else, what other images are representing you? Is your LinkedIn photo and profile truly reflecting your brand and expertise? Does your Facebook cover photo need a new look? You want to leave the right impression on your clients, customers, employees, media, any visitors and of course YOU.
Does your Personal Brand SHINE?
Learn more about building your personal brand by with my free video series: NOOK, LOOK, HOOK, 3 Steps to Build a Stand Out Personal Brand.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is recognised as a leading authority on personal branding to boost image, profile, brand and business. Through her profile and image development programs, workshops, consulting and keynote presentations, Sue helps businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an influential professional brand.