Whether it’s standing out in a crowd, getting noticed at a social event, closing a big contract, attracting opportunities, or finding new clients, everyone today needs a “personal brand.” Personal branding is for people who want to raise their profile to positively influence the way others perceive them. It’s basically all of the things that make up your personality but with a marketing spin. Let’s face it; everyone is presenting themselves all the time, whether it’s personally or professionally. How we’re perceived affects not only our self-esteem but ultimately our earning power and career progression. Doing this online is relatively easy; all you need is to establish an online presence (using websites like Jaynike to buy YouTube likes can help in this regard) and create a unique persona just as you would offline.
What Can Personal Branding Do For You?
It helps you:
- Stand out and be seen for who you are and the unique way you bring value to a given situation.
- Make a positive first impression in a way that feels natural and authentic
- Clearly convey what you offer, what makes you different, and better
- Manages the perceptions people make up about you, your attitudes, your professionalism, and your services.
- And most importantly, it helps you be remembered
Let’s face it—life is one big presentation (or, more accurately, an endless stream of mini-presentations). Whether it’s a phone call, a webinar, one-on-one meetings, or delayed presentations like voice mails, even letters – the way you communicate affects the way you are perceived. Your personal brand is not just personal. It is also tied up in your professional life. If you represent a company’s product or service, your brand and the company’s brand become intertwined. Proper branding methods are frequently mentioned in the dos and don’ts of the retail world for a good reason. How you present that collective brand is a reflection of you (your brand) and the product or service you’re selling (your company’s brand). Supporting your brand is your responsibility. Supporting the company is the responsibility of both you and your employer. The good news is that you take your brand with you wherever you happen to be working. Building a personal brand should be looked upon as an investment and one of the most valuable investments you’ll ever make.
Organize a Great Presentation Toolkit
This is one of the best things you can do to build your personal brand. First, build your mental toolkit. Success stories, instructive case studies, insightful antidotes, better ways of doing things, statistics, any piece of information that adds value to a situation should be in your toolkit. You should keep that toolkit well organized and be able to use the best items in your toolkit without even thinking about it. Practice information retrieval so that it becomes second nature.
Have Access to Hard Copies of Your Toolkit
Gather brochures, clippings from articles, books, newspapers, magazines, reports, research data, and business cards. Organize these things by subjects with the information you use most often quickly accessible.
Prepare an Electronic Toolkit
This would include things like favorite web pages, e-mails, electronic notes, slides, multimedia presentations, again all organized so that you can carry them on your computer or PDA and have them handy when you need them.
Have Samples and Handouts
These are the items you should have on hand at all times. You never know who or when you’re going to meet someone who could turn out to be your next big contact. You should always be prepared. Access to all the resources that make up your personal brand affects its value to you. It must be organized in such a way that it can be deployed quickly to have its greatest impact.
Summary: What is Your Personal Brand?
It’s an extension of you, who you are, and what you represent. By being aware of your personal brand, you can position yourself for success no matter what career you decide to enter or when you make the inevitable career change. Your personal brand helps you overcome any challenge you encounter in life because by consciously building your personal brand using a plan, you know your strengths and weaknesses. You know how to present your strengths for maximum impact and minimize your weaknesses. That’s a powerful combination to have.
Remember, life is really just a series of presentations, and success in life has a lot to do with all the presentations that we make daily, whether professionally or personally. Mastering those presentations will help you build and communicate a clear and consistent brand, always keep your message consistent with your style, and motivate people to take action. These are all the qualities that make great leaders.
Start building your personal brand today.