5 Steps To Build Your Personal Brand
A ‘Personal Brand’ is an intentional reputation. You may think you don’t need a ‘Personal Brand’ or that it is just a buzz word (which is somewhat true), but all it really does is give you control over your reputation. Everyone has a reputation or a Personal Brand, and you will see positive results when you plan and take conscientious steps to developing your Personal Brand.
Here Are 5 steps To Help You Build Your Brand
1. What is your current Personal Brand?
Before you can begin plotting how you want to be perceived, you need to understand how you are currently perceived. This means your friends, family, team members, suppliers and clients.
Some of these may surprise you, but in the age of Social Media, everyone is a potential customer, referral or connection. What they say about you will contribute to how people perceive you before they have met you.
A 360° Review is the best way to get anonymous feedback from your team, managers, suppliers and clients. You may feel awkward asking your clients or suppliers, but you would be surprised how willing people are to give genuine feedback.
2. What do you want?
Once you understand your reality, you can assess if that is what your Personal Brand should be. What do you want to be known for is an ongoing enquiry within yourself, and it will take time.
Who has given you good feedback? Why? Is that something you can replicate for other people?
Who has given you negative feedback? Why? Is that something you want to be known for?
These questions won’t be answered overnight, but it will allow you to start to define what your value is, where your value can make a difference and how you can get there.
This should be documented as a Personal Development Plan, and your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed.
3. What are the barriers?
When you understand what you want, there will be things standing in your way. They may revolve around time, skills, knowledge, or your network. How are you going to overcome these?
You need to be realistic about what the barriers are because they will all stem from you and your gaps (this is where the feedback comes in handy again).
Don’t have the knowledge? Enrol in programs and courses.
Don’t have the network? Start reaching out to people you do know and ask for referrals.
Don’t have the time? Talk to your manager about your development plan and how it can be incorporated into your workload.
Once you have found the barriers, find your solution and leverage the people around you to make it a reality.
4. Set yourself up
Once you know what you want to do and how to get there, start taking positive steps towards that. For some people, it will be setting up a LinkedIn account. For others, it will be getting Sales or Communication training to learn how to connect with people.
Whatever the end goals are, take the steps now to make sure you are ready to build and maintain your Personal Brand.
Everyone networks every day. The people around you are a network and how you treat them contributes to your Personal Brand. Expand that network, intentionally, and start conveying the best version of yourself. LinkedIn, Networking Events (when they return), work functions, and client meetings are all opportunities for you to build your Personal Brand and network.
You already have a Personal Brand; you may just not be aware of what it is. Take positive steps to creating, building and expanding the people who see and know what your Personal Brand is.