Personal brand is based on an authentic expression of who you are, amplified within a given context. In business it’s the combination of what you uniquely bring, presented in a way that chimes with the needs of your customer.
Personal branding is a marketing concept. First coined by Tom Peters in1997, it has come about with the digital age. No longer can we rely on the middleman of the company to project our image, our success now depends on our ability to communicate through all the different channels now available to us, who we are and what we stand for, whether you are employed by someone or not.
Why is it helpful in business?
The term personal brand was and is helpful because, in Tom Peters words it produces “braggables”, which inform people in a simple and easily graspable way what they can expect from you. But successful “braggables”, to be effective, need to be based on an accurate translation of who you really are. Business is about relationships and good relationships are about trust. For people to trust you, your brand has to be based on what only you can bring.
How do I find out what my brand is?
There are a number of ways to go about this process successfully. All involve these steps:
- Identifying who you are
- Translating that into your unique set of strengths
- Understanding what contribution they make in a given context.
- Connecting in any way available to you, with those who will benefit from them.
There are many practitioners, mostly to do with marketing, who can help you identify your personal brand and build a marketing proposition upon it. Some are better than others and the best ones, in my opinion, are the ones who can help you capture, in a way that feels completely authentic, your unique way of being in the world. You will know you’ve done it because you will get very excited and experience a sense of being seen and acknowledged. It can also cause a feeling of exposure and embarrassment as we spend so much time trying to be what we think others want that paradoxically, we feel strange confidently occupying our own space!
Whatever you do or don’t do communicates to your current or potential customers what you stand for if you know what that is you have an edge.
Your brand in context
A spin off from the process I have described is gaining a better understanding of what is important to you or your purpose in life. Maintaining the connection between who you are and what is important to you provides an inner confidence and certainty that sustains you in the face of life’s challenges. When you deliver for your customers from this unshakable foundation you become unstoppable and everyone wins. However you define it, this is a recipe for success .
This article was brought to you by Joella Bruckshaw.
Joella is a performance consultant who works senior women and high flyers to help them position themselves for recognition and promotion. She uses images to create an unforgettable intuitive personal brand that powerfully communicates what you bring and the difference it makes to your customers. Her last client said of her intuitive personal brand:
“I can’t stop smiling at this slide as it truly defines me”