It never fails to amaze me how people underestimate the power of their personal brand. No respect!
They treat it like an out of date tin of mackerel; something you think might be useful to have, but keep it in the back of the cupboard out of reach and out of sight.
When setting up a business people always talk ‘large’ about their logos, websites and how many fancy brochures they have had printed. But what they fail to realise is that people buy YOU and their perception of your skills, experience and acumen. They put a value into the perception that you are going to be the person who will solve their problems, issue, crisis and make all good in their personal, professional or business world. That perception has a price in their mind and you don’t want your price to be below the asking price!
It’s important that your image sends out the right message. If you stand before them unkept, grubby and looking like you just stumbled into their meeting; then it does not foster much confidence that you can deliver to the highest standard that clients demand. Personal branding is not only critical for business owners, but those looking to take their career to the next level and even those singletons looking to bring a bit of ‘romance’ into their lives. All you disbelievers, I can feel you raise your eyebrows and roll your eyes! But believe me, personal branding works!
Personal branding is about communication. It is what people think about you? So its important that you control their impression of you – negative or positive. Even if you don’t have the budget to hire your own personal branding guru, here are 3 easy steps to take your personal brand to the next level.
Jerry Springer and Oprah Winfrey are two successful chat show hosts who have consistently maintained exceptional viewing ratings and are considered the best in their game. However, Jerry is known for appealing to the trailer trash, ignorant bare knuckle audience; whereas Oprah caters for the aspirational, spiritually conscious audience looking to get the best out of their lives. The difference couldn’t be clearer but both are top of their game and each definitely have their place in the market!
Take the time compare yourself to someone who is in your circle (sector or group) who is doing very well and not so well; what attributes, values and characteristics do you have that give you the ‘edge’ on them? Then turn these into benefits that will appeal to your target audience.
Identify, build and communicate
Branding is not just for big companies, you are competing against other people all the time and you need to have the competitive edge in order to succeed. Once you are clear about what you offer, continuously find ways communicate your message to your target audience until you are firmly top of mind with the right people.
By carefully managing your personal brand you don’t fall foul to negative perceptions because you create and control expectations and manage the outcome based on what you want people to remember you for.
Create a buzz
It’s important to come up with a strategy to create a buzz and consistently get your message out to your target audience – because you’re the new guru in town!
You want to keep your name at the forefront of people’s minds so don’t rest on your laurels once you have got started. Keep pushing the message out there, get constructive feedback and keep improving your brand. Coca Cola maybe the leader in their sector, but they don’t stop coming up with innovative and creative ways to remain on top and keep Pepsi at bay. Look at how Obama used his simple branding of ‘we can’ and changed the face of presidential campaigns forever!
Personal branding is one of the most powerful tools that you can have in your arsenal. How powerful is your personal brand?