Whether or not you think you have one, we all have a ‘personal brand’.
Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room. It’s the impression you make on other people. It’s the sweet spot between how you see yourself, and how others see you.
Having a consistent brand and being able to positively represent yourself is critical to your success in a digital age and a highly competitive market.
So, how can you influence your brand?
First, you need to define what your personal brand is. Your brand will be based on the unique combination of your presence, strengths and abilities, values and purpose, and personal style. You’re in control of all of these things. Consider your:
- Presence – how do you come across? What’s your behavioural and communication style?
- Strengths and abilities – what are you really good at? What key capabilities do you want to be known for?
- Values and purpose – what do you stand up for? And what do you really want to achieve? What guides you in your personal and professional life?
- Personal style – what personality traits come across in your physical attire – how you dress?
Then, do a self-brand check-in. Doing a quick google of yourself will let you know what is already out there digitally. It’s as much about checking what is there, as what isn’t. If nothing pops up, that’s not a great sign. In 2020, people expect to be able to find you. That’s why at the very least, you want to have a LinkedIn profile. It will appear in a google search, and gives you an opportunity to shape your brand.
You also want to make sure that if any of your personal social media accounts pop up, that they’re either set to private or that they’re on-point with your brand. Although different from a ‘professional’ profile, it’s important that there’s nothing in there that contradicts your brand.
Another great way of doing a self-brand check is asking people: “What’s 3 words you’d use to describe me?” This is an opportunity for you to evaluate whether how other people see you aligns with how you see yourself, or how you want to be seen. If there’s a mismatch, what can you do to change that?
Whatever your personal brand is, it should always be meaningful and authentic to you.