Personal brand management can deliver significant benefits and opportunities for you as a business executive, entrepreneur or evolving leader. If you are career savvy, it is time to consider how you can devise a personal brand, along the lines of product branding to get noticed.
Chatting to a client recently she said, “I always like to put my best foot forward as I believe there is great benefit around corporate image. How you present and interact when you deal with clients is so important.”
Her clients are internal and external and as a role model and leader she is embodying the business brand core values of people development and helping her team to demonstrate they are leaders with executive presence.
As an executive or entrepreneur, you want the distinctive edge that comes from establishing yourself as an expert and leader in your chosen field. You also want to inspire loyalty and respect in your core audiences, whether internal or external, making personal branding even more appealing.
No matter what level of career success people attain, it is still important to communicate what you stand for and the benefits you offer in order to stay top of mind.
Personal branding is the perfect solution
But before you position yourself as a guru in your niche market, you need to do your research first. Because personal branding relies on strength and consistency, it is vital to be clear about who you are.
You need to do a personal audit to determine your personal brand essence before you can build on it. Consider your personality, appearance, competencies and differentiation, and what will best communicate your unique message. You may find this quite challenging.
A solution is to think about what sets you apart from your peers, colleagues and competitors. This will not only give you a clearer understanding of who you are but with a bit of soul-searching, give you a confidence boost as well.
Personal branding is relevant right now
Personal branding is still relevant, yet it seems the term has lost some cachet. Your personal brand is the way you are, how you are seen, act and interact with others. It is also about how you are remembered.
This is where social branding has gained prominence. Yet it is only one tool or tactic of personal branding, which is the activities required and implemented that demonstrate your personal brand.
However you choose to view personal branding, it has certainly evolved over the past number of years to incorporate several principles.
For me and my business it is a combination of various elements that go toward helping you to create a memorable brand image such as personal style and confident self-expression.
One key to being memorable is to be relatable. Being authentic and expressing the human side of you. Not everyone is a “sharer” and that’s okay. If “reserved” is more of your natural personality, then so be it.
Some people like to highlight all their new loves, deaths and foibles on social media – not me. Is that being unrelatable? I don’t think so.
Being real and authentic is more about being genuine with your customers, clients and yourself. Caring and listening to their needs and offering personalised solutions to their problems.
We do live in a globally connected world and to earn trust, the more you connect in an authentic way with those in your community whether that is worldwide online or supporting local businesses, you will elevate perceptions of you and your brand which in turn will instill respect to gain support from fans and followers.
When it comes to maintaining your personal brand, other tools to consider are personality profiling, colour analysis and image consultancy. These useful tools give you a clearer understanding of who you are but can also be used to determine how you’re perceived by others and what your needs are.
These tools are particularly good for people forging an entrepreneurial path or wanting to stand out as a leader because they provide that much needed extra insight. Plus, the “packaging” of your brand in a unique way, will help you shine.
In terms of evolving your personal brand, all strong brands need to remain relevant to their target audience. Strive to stand out from the crowd by regularly assessing your strategy.
Your personal brand should be an accurate reflection of who you are, so integrate it with your unique style and personality. This not only increases your perceived value in the marketplace, but helps you live your personal brand and deliver on its promise.
Sue Currie is a speaker and the author of IMPRESSario, Present and Promote the Star Within You. She is passionate about helping business executives and entrepreneurial professionals elevate their personal brand, image and professional presence. Sue’s suite of image management services delivered through workshops, consulting, coaching and keynote presentations provides a multi-faceted approach to gain high transformation for her clients.