Top tips for building your personal brand

8th July 2019, 4:15 pm

Many people think personal branding is for the likes of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, David Beckham or Lady Gaga. It’s not. Your personal brand plays a huge role in your career progression and success in business.

Whether you realise it, like it or not, you already have a personal brand because personal branding is how you come across and what you represent to others. It’s less about celebrity and more about authenticity. Your personal brand is what separates you from the crowd. And in business, it’s an essential part of career and professional development.

Taking time to build your personal brand can help you get ahead at work, attract more customers, grow your network and crucially guide you to make decisions that help you achieve your ambitions and aspirations.

So where do you start? Here are my four top tips.

  1. Build your brand position to own your spot

Great brands position themselves well. Think BMW. Its tag line ‘the ultimate driving machine’, positions the brand distinctively. It owns this space. It uses this position credibly in its advertising to reinforce its position.

Like any great brand, you need to own your spot.

Ask yourself what is distinctive about you? What are your strengths and skills? How do others benefit?  What do you want to be remembered for? How do you share this with others?

  1. Identify your brand values

Your values are what matter to you most. They are part of you, part of your story and part of the stories that you tell. They guide your decisions and influence your actions.

Think Martin Luther King’s infamous speech, ‘I have dream’ in which he suggests that equality may be possible in the future. He believed in the power of serving others with humility. He reminded his followers that they didn’t need an advanced degree or lots of wealth to make a difference in the world.

What are your values? How do your values guide your actions and decisions? How do your values show up in your work?

  1. Develop your brand personality

In marketing, when we build brands, we talk about expressing the brand’s personality. Think Apple and ‘Cool’, IBM and ‘Intelligent’. It’s often the brand’s personality that attracts people to it.

Successful brands invest in building and protecting their brands. Shouldn’t we do the same? We have personalities too, right?

Your personality is a critical part of your personal brand. It shows others what to expect. Some people like Richard Branson are rule breakers and adventurous, others like Oprah Winfrey are authentic. Both have very different personalities. Yet both are very successful. What they have in common is that they express their personalities consistently, in the work that they do.

When building your personal brand, think about what is unique about your personality. Are you conservative? Serious? Adventurous? Approachable? Knowledgeable? Or something else? What is it about your personality that others can expect? Pay attention to how you display your personality to others. And remember, be consistent.

  1. Brand identity

This is simply how you present yourself. How you style yourself and how you are seen  by others. In other words, your ‘look and feel’.

In building your personal brand think about how you are perceived. What you say and how you say it, your body language and behaviour, how you dress and anything personal that you choose to share about yourself, forms your brand identity.

What next?

The best way to determine your personal brand is to allow others to help you. Authenticity is the key. If you don’t know where to start and you’d like help, get in touch

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