Everyone wants to look good, feel good, have more, know more, be better. It’s human. It’s biology. It’s your right.
Most people however, don’t know how to achieve this. They think they know, but what they really know are all the excuses not to have all of the above.
They have what Covey calls excusitis, and they say things like this to avoid facing their fear of success: ‘I’m too old/young/tall/short’, ‘This is just who I am and I can’t change my personality’, ‘I’ve tried and it doesn’t work’, ‘It’s not for people like me’ etc.
And because I discovered this, and learnt how to overcome it, I myself was able to find my niche, my way, my strengths, and my passion.
With the gift of encouragement and ability to see the best in people (which has at times also worked against me), I help people look good, feel good, and be great. I do this through helping them discover who they are, their strengths and how to leverage them, for then to implement strategies to achieve set goals. This results in my clients finding more and better work or clients; new jobs they love; it increases sales, their confidence, their service offering; and best of all, it helps them self actualise. One of my focus areas is personal branding.
The first step of establishing your personal brand is to introduce who you are with you want to be.
Most people are stuck on the idea that they can’t or won’t change, but whether you think it or not, most people do change quite a lot over the span of their life time. We change taste in music, hobbies, people, foods, and fashion. We change how we dress, where we work, and who we spend time with. Therefore, when you are establishing your personal brand, you are in a way creating your future self and that’s the persona you need to plan towards (not your past self!).
Once you have established your ideal future self, you need to prepare for that role. What you wear, how you think, who you hang out with and so on.
As people need feedback and constant communication with others to find clarity, I recommend working with a branding specialist to get the most out of your personal brand. It is also important to avoid coming off as flip, arrogant, or unprofessional – which too many people do.
Meanwhile, I have prepared 5 questions to help you launch, refocus or refine your personal brand:
1. What are your goals?
– Getting published?
– Landing a new job
– Getting invited to present at conferences?
- Your goals should drive the major aspects of your personal branding campaign, from what you say, to how and where you say it, and to the audiences you target.
- The more specific your goals, the better you can tailor your personal branding strategy and evaluate its effectiveness.
2. What do you have to say?
– What do you know and want to be known for?
– Do you have a clear and original perspective on your specialty field?
- A popular or different point of view attract people’s attention and inspire them to share your message, which builds brand awareness and helps to create a following.
3. What’s your voice?
– Whats your impression on others? (authoritative, academic, conversational, corny, or quirky)
- Choose a voice that’s true to your character and aligns with your goals to help you connect with others while differentiating yourself.
- Avoid being sarcastic and negative – it does not play out well on social media.
4. Who’s your audience?
– Who do you want exposure to? (media, executives, students, partners, the health conscious)?
- Thinking about the stakeholders who can help you achieve your goals, and then establish a strategy for reaching them wherever they cluster.
5. How should you engage?
– Which channels should you use? (Your audience will determine this)
- Consider the types of content and media your audiences will be receptive to, and prioritize quality over quantity.
- Hire people to help you write, connect, set up social media (or don’t use social media).
- Be active, versatile, professional.
So, why is it important to develop and communicate a consistent message that expresses your professional worth and values?
- It is an effective way for passive and active job seekers to distinguish themselves from competitors and gain visibility in a crowded employment market.
- For executives, it can help attract talent to their organizations, build goodwill with customers and business partners, and create positive buzz for their organisation.
- Building a brand and a following on social media demonstrates strong communication skills, the capacity to influence others, and leadership. All attractive traits.
If you would like to discuss your personal (and professional) brand further, please get in touch. I would love to get to know you and help you and others see how great you are.