A six-part series that will get your wheels turning as you develop your personal brand.
Part II: Start Thinking of Yourself as a Brand
In Part I of this series, we discussed the need for personal branding. In this blog we’ll help you launch your personal brand.
Creating your personal brand is very much like businesses creating their mission statement — beginning with the end in mind. The best mission statements will define a business so well that it gives the appearance of a business strategy — it defines the company’s goals, ethics and culture. The first step in creating your personal brand is to create a guiding philosophy, a set of core principals like your own Declaration of Independence. Consider these:
- Where do you see yourself in 5 and 10 years?
- What really matters to you . . .owning a business, spouse, family, travel, giving back to the community?
- Identify your values
- Hone in on your personality
- Identify your talents, strengths and weaknesses
- Know the characteristics you want people to think of when they hear your name
The great thing about this first step, there is no good or bad or right or wrong answer. This is your vision, your life, your legacy.
The second step is creating a strategy to achieve that vision. This will not be a step you can do overnight. The most successful people take years to develop this and a lifetime of living it.
- Define your audience – what are you selling . . .product, service, yourself?
- Create visual recognition – be consistent across all mediums
- Create a memorable look – your overall presence
- Make it sustainable – it’s good to be ambitious but you want to achieve a level of success
Consistency is truly the key in this area. Look at people like Stephen R. Covey, Oprah Winfrey and Sir Richard Branson who, time and time again, admit to bumps in their life’s road but their core values helped them persevere.
The last step is to focus on protecting your brand. This is actually the most important step. The world has become fast paced and high tech with seemingly endless options. In an attempt to keep up it is very easy to want to compromise your values thus compromising your brand. Even worse are those who believe they have reached a level where their brand cannot be tainted, no matter what they do. Celebrities, athletes and political officials are the best example of this. So how do you keep your brand protected?
- Stay loyal to your core values
- Associate yourself with people and organizations with similar values
- Don’t be afraid to say “no”, not everyone will be a good fit
- Listen to your instincts
- Revisit your vision strategy at least every six months
The idea of a personal brand may seem overwhelming and infinite but as time goes by, your brand will solidify creating a memorable, and favorable, image.