Brandistas, personal branding matters and this is why.
Have you ever wished you were more effective at crafting new business or professional relationships? Have you ever been frustrated from feeling stagnate in your career or business? Do you sometimes feel like new opportunities are not coming your way frequent enough? Now ask yourself, “am I in charge of my personal brand?” Sure, you have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram plus a biography and perhaps a website + you make weekly posts and commentary on social platforms to stay connected with your network.
Now ask yourself, does that mean you are in charge of your personal brand?
Remember, your brand is what the public: your clients, co-workers, boss, audience or organization say about you. It is not what you say about yourself. Your personal brand is your audience’s perception of who you are and what you stand for, not what you may want it to be. We are not in charge of our personal brand but our behaviors, actions and reputation shape those perceptions. Take a moment to think about two specific colleagues or competitors who you interact with on social media. What comes to your mind when you think about them? Are they “smart but pessimistic” or “trustworthy and lazy” maybe “strategic and charismatic”? Now, does your descriptions match what they have in their LinkedIn profile or how you think they want their personal brand perceived? Maybe, maybe not, but if your description is similar to what others say, that’s how they are perceived and thus that is their personal brand. Whatever the public (your clients, colleagues, boss, associates etc.) thinks about you is exactly your brand.
Now do you take charge of this? You must take charge of your brand promise.
Your brand promise is the promise you can keep that makes you valuable and beneficial to your audience. Click here to read more. It is ‘the promise’ that is understood, believable, valuable and consistent that people know they will always get when interacting with you. Your brand promise has to be well-defined and differentiate you from your competition. Your branding initiatives shape the promise that is being perceived by your audience. Be very consistent, authentic and intentional in your promise, aligning your brand promise with your reputation is the first step to taking charge of and building a successful personal brand.