In a world of turbulence and disruptive change, it is increasingly important to figure out what is unique and distinctive about you and let other people know. This means being visible, building a reputation (what people say about you when you are not in the room), and getting known. It is always good to remember that future leadership of your organisation will not be by unknown people. You need to be known – not famous. This is all about differentiation – in a highly competitive world, what makes you different and worthy of notice. It’s time to think about your personal brand.
What is a Personal Brand and Why Does It Matter?
A brand is a promise that doesn’t let you down – your favourite brand is like a friend you can always rely on. Your personal brand is what people think of when they hear your name. Successful people are successful brands, and people pay more for a successful brand than a product. Everyone has a personal brand whether they like it or not. In fact, not having a personal brand is having a personal brand. And it is not what you say it is – it’s what other people say it is. You can’t control it, but you can help shape it.
Taking Control of Your Personal Brand
You have to then ask yourself a key question – do you want to determine what your brand is, or do you want other people to decide it for you? If you let other people decide, it is generally not the brand you are all that happy with. We live in a world where we are either ‘googling’ or ‘being googled,’ so you have to be visible. Don’t wait to be discovered – take ownership of what is unique about you and make it an intentional process.
How to Start Building Your Personal Brand Today
There are several actions you can take now to help build your presence:
Identify Your Value-Add
Ask yourself the following questions – What can I do that can add value to others? What am I best at, and what can I build a story around? Think of all the different elements that go to make up your online brand, such as:
- Unique skills
- Lived experiences
- Specialist knowledge
- Talks and speeches
- Social media presence
- Awards and recognition
- Gossip and perception
Find Your Niche and Establish an Online Presence
Find a niche and discover your unique position within that niche. Develop an online presence – when people Google your name (and they will), the first thing that should come up is your impressive LinkedIn profile.
See yourself as a brand that wants to stand out in a crowded world – you will be judged by what you say (substance) and how you say it (style). Be aware of your invisible reputation, which is being built with each interaction you have with anyone. Your overall brand can either make you or break you in your own career and personal life.
Take the Next Step to Build Your Personal Brand
Are you ready to take control and unlock new opportunities? Enquire about our networking course or visit our networking course signup page to start developing your personal brand today through our new self-led networking and professional development courses.