Personal Branding

Posted on March 13, 2013 by

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A personal brand creates a relationship of trust between you and your customer (potential boss, clients, friends, peers, etc).  It is a promise of what they can expect from you. It is a perception, based on emotion, that they have of you.  It describes the experience they have with you from a value proposition perspective.  Finally, a personal brand reflects who you are, what you believe, your values and your skills.  Knowing the power of personal branding, it is important to take the time to create, refine and manage the brand called you.

Creating Your Brand

First, make a list of adjectives that you feel best describe you – personality, skills, experience, leadership style, etc.  Select a few that best describe you and create your brand statement.  Next, ask those that you trust what comes to mind when they hear your name or think of you.  Make note of the responses.  Finally, ask if they were to describe you to others, what would they say or how would they describe you.  Again, make note of the responses.  Their responses will give you some level of insight as to the perceptions about you or “tags” that currently exist.  If this differs from what you would like your brand to be, then you will need to invest time and energy in refining and recreating the brand by changing perceptions.

Refining Your Brand

You should constantly seek to refine your brand based on the inputs of your customer – your boss, peers, clients, friends, etc.  As you refine your skills and experiences, your brand should reflect that as well.  In refining your brand, you take credit for all of the positive things you do or contribute and correct those negative aspects of your brand that may impact your personal or professional success.  Examine the “tags” that currently exist about you.  Are they valid, do they truly reflect who you are or are they more reflective of you on a bad day?  Make the decision regarding how you plan to address those tags.  Will you  change your behavior or style to counteract and erase those tags over time or are you  comfortable with who you are, and that there are some things you won’t compromise?

Managing Your Brand

As you develop and refine your brand, you will need to continuously manage it to ensure it is relevant and perceived as valuable.  To this end, consistency is a key.  Others should be able to see your beliefs and values in action with everything that you do.  Because your brand is very clear, others will know what you expect (brand promise).  Additionally, as you refine your brand, you will be able to evaluate relationships and opportunities based on the fit with your brand.  This is important as it is necessary to protect your brand to ensure that it properly reflects who you are.

Lair, D. J., Sullivan, K., & Cheney, G. (2005). MARKETIZATION AND THE RECASTING OF THE PROFESSIONAL SELF: The rhetoric and ethics of personal branding. Management Communication Quarterly : McQ, 18(3), 307-343. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/216361262?accountid=35812

Rampersad, H. K. (2008). A new blueprint for powerful and authentic personal branding. Performance Improvement, 47(6), 34-37. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/237242383?accountid=35812

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