There is more to personal branding than learning to be great at self promotion.
Personal branding goes right to the core of the perception people form of you from the instant they meet or hear you in a business or personal setting. We all make instant judgments of one another based upon how we look, speak, and behave. Sometimes, it’s a bitter pill to swallow, yet in business for sure, perception is reality and it is essential that we own the way we brand ourselves.
By taking control and defining yourself according to your own, authentic strengths, values and character, you can influence those perceptions, rather than allowing others to define you.
Here are a few steps to improving your personal brand:
1. Review all your social media activity for the message it sends out and whether it represents the ‘true you’. Do you sound bored, agitated, high energy or unprofessional? Ask for a friend or peer’s objective comments.
2. Whatever your focus, try to ensure you are shining. Be it sports activities or public speaking, if you love to do it, make sure you are learning and growing and inspiring others.
3. Consider your signature style or look. Are you a wash-and-get-out-of-the-house type of person? Do you still expect to be taken professionally serious without investing time in the grooming detail?
4. Are you under the radar for that career or business opportunity because of a fear of standing out? Take time to reflect on what is sabotaging your confidence.
5. Ask some trusted friends and acquaintances to list what they thing you are really good at, including your values, qualities and skills. You may be pleasantly surprised to find a number of blind spots that you’re failing to leverage.
6. Identify your unique talents and maximise opportunities to package and communicate these to your business connections, family and friends.
7. Pinpoint what sums you up and makes you different from others. If you find it difficult, think back to college or personal work appraisals where people gave you impartial feedback.
8. Deliberate ways you can package your unique strengths and differences to help solve other people’s everyday challenges or meet their needs.
9. Define and write down how you would seek to express your visible and verbal self using all your described traits, personality and characteristics.
10. Lastly, focus. Leverage your network to translate into opportunities that reap financial rewards, directly or indirectly. Having coffee and chats is great at keeping us busy but is not financially productive. You need to apply that personal brand energy.
Are you interested in improving your personal brand? The author is running a personal branding retreat on March 15-16 at Desert Palm Resort, Dubai. Visit www.imagefactoruae.com for details.