Seven rules to building your personal brand successfully
Now Reading
The seven rules of personal branding

The seven rules of personal branding

From self-discovery to consistent messaging, explore practical strategies for crafting an authentic and impactful personal brand that resonates with your audience and drives your career forward

Gulf Business
personal branding tips by Binod Shankar

What is your ‘personal’ brand?

Simply put it’s your reputation. Hence personal branding is about managing your name, that intangible yet invaluable asset.

Here are seven tips to help build your personal brand.

Rule # 1: Know yourself

What are your values, skills and traits? What’s your goal? Why do you exist? What drives you every day?

Someone asked me that last question at a book signing recently.

You don’t know yourself as much as you think you do. So, get honest feedback. Like at the book signing when, before I could reply, another audience member gave the right answer that nailed it.

Rule # 2: Pick your domain

Your domain is an area that you’re both an expert in and are passionate about.

Expertise is important for credibility and insight. What domain do people at work or friends look to you for insights? Which career have you had the most success in?

Your passion is crucial because people will pick up on your passion instantly. Your passion will also make you write consistently plus you’ll be driven to read and connect widely.
What are you keen on and an expert in? Sustainability, gender equality, mental health, or financial inclusion?

Hint: It will most likely be a subset of your domain (For example: sustainable finance within finance) because you can’t be an expert in a vast and complex field like finance. It can also be multiple related domains.

Rule # 3: Know your tribe

Reputation is important but with whom?

You must figure out who you want to be respected by. Gaining universal respect and approval can be quite challenging, as individual perspectives and preferences vary significantly.

Also, if you try to align with everyone, you will align with no one. This is of course linked to your expertise and your passion. People who aspire to (or already are in) your domain are your tribe. Once you start writing they’ll gravitate to you.

Rule # 4: Form views

Now that you know yourself, your domain and your tribe you must develop your unique views.

Think of your experience and expertise and then think of the current status of your domain. What do you agree and disagree with and why? Where do you see it in future? What’s broken and what would you do to fix it? There’s always scope for this.

I read a lot in my domain (leadership, coaching and psychology) and also talk to clients and others to not only stay up to date, but also fine-tune my views.

Rule # 5: Be confident

State your views publicly and unambiguously. Be vocal about often ignored but important issues. Admit your relevant flaws and failures. Be open to being contrarian because you will be invisible if you repeat what everyone else is saying. Be open to public criticism and hold and justify views under fire. Develop your style, your voice.

This is a major issue for many because they fear criticism once they express their views. Will you get criticised? Perhaps.

Look everyone has a right to an opinion and so do you as long you have backed it with reason and/or facts and figures. Also, you may learn from someone’s criticism and anyway it’s just their opinion. And if you can’t take criticism then you shouldn’t get into personal branding.

Rule # 6: Tell stories

Who doesn’t love a story? That’s why theatre, movies and streaming are multi-billion-dollar industries.

Stories are interesting, memorable, relatable and credible. So, look at your life and gather together all the episodes from work, hobbies, family etc. and see the common themes and lessons learnt. And then use these appropriately on social media, in presentations etc.

I cycle, hike, climb and coach. I am also a fitness and health enthusiast and these give me a rich fund of stories to tap into. Now that’s an excellent reason to develop a hobby.

Rule # 7: Be consistent

There are two aspects to building your brand: consistency in messaging and frequency.

The first implies that you should stay on message and not contradict yourself by saying (for example) today that luck plays a big role in your career and then the next month saying it doesn’t.

The second is about being “visible” on a regular basis and many have the habit of posting on LinkedIn and then disappearing for a few months. Remember, out of sight is out of mind. For example, I post three to four times a week on LinkedIn and have been doing this for the past seven years and it happens because it’s a priority for me.
There’s more to personal branding but that’s the essence.

On a concluding note, while you are the CEO of our own company (Me Inc), to thrive in your career today, you also have to be the chief marketing officer of the brand called “You”.

The writer is the executive coach and author of Let’s Get Real: 42 tips for the Stuck Manager

You might also like


Scroll To Top