Everything that you do or say is part of your personal brand. The image you present, the ideas you contribute, and the value that you offer are all aspects of what makes you individually unique. Your personal brand is what builds trust with future clients, customers, and represents who you are as a person.
Who Are You?
When considering your personal brand, you need to really discover yourself. Why do you do the things that you do? What motivates you? What is your passion? How do you present yourself to other people? Your personal brand goes hand in hand with your digital reputation. If you are an amazing person online, but completely different in person, your brand will suffer greatly. Don't pull a Jekyll and Hyde routine: be the same person regardless of the situation or circumstance. Finding and defining yourself will only aid in the promotion of your own brand. Don't try to be everything, but be consistent in everything that you do.
Personal brands are not about companies, but are about the people that stand with their products or services. A personal brand portrays the value that a person can provide and is not centered around logos, marketing, or product features. Who you are becomes your brand. Your picture becomes the logo, your own voice becomes the marketing; you become the central focus of everything.
Think of such brands as Coke or Pepsi. Do you easily recall the product, logo, or company founders? Now think of Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steve Jobs. Does their name recall their products? If you think of Microsoft, Tesla, and Apple, will you synonymously think of the three company owners? They have all built their personal brands with their companies. Their identity is rooted in their companies and vice versa. Coke and Pepsi are branded around their products, not an individual.
What Do You Represent?
Your personal brand represents you. What do you stand for? What do you strive for? What is your purpose? The brand that you convey personally, will be distributed relentlessly across the globe. What you represent matters to people who don't even know you, nor have met you. Your name will become the defining element with the value that you represent. Your name is the brand label.
When someone thinks of you, your work, or your talent, what comes to mind? If you cannot answer this question, then you need to define your brand. People should not draw a blank when they hear your name, but instead should remember you by one of your actions or traits. Your brand needs to essentially represent value, integrity, and the desire to be helpful.
How Do You Present Yourself?
Along the same lines as your Digital Reputation, the manner in which you present yourself matters greatly in concerns to your personal brand. The association people will make with you is not based on your service nor products, but based on how you present yourself. Are you likable? Confident? Would someone want to pay you for your expertise? You cannot misrepresent yourself, nor distort your own image. The utmost in professionalism should be considering when presenting yourself. Be unique, be yourself, be your own brand, but do not sacrifice yourself for advancement.
Your brand needs to take responsibility and ownership of your customers, your service, your products, and even your freelancers. Do you think one project should be better in quality than another? Do you think if one freelancer is treated unfairly, it accurately represents your brand? Within the larger scope of business, you need to understand that everyone and everything ultimately represents yourself. Are you comfortable knowing that your company's service lacks the ability to truly build value and assist customers? Protect your brand, and every extension of it. Be responsible for everything that you create and manage.
The Way You Do Anything, Is the Way You Do Everything
There is no balance in a personal brand: it is all or nothing. You cannot represent yourself as a punctual, sophisticated, business professional yet lack in motivation in your personal life. Your brand accurately represents your life in its entirety. Consider the celebrities who mistreat their fans, is this helpful for their brand image? Would you participate in such behavior? Do you favor one worker or another? Would you favor one child over another? The correlation between success in the business world, and your personal success is interdependent. You cannot be different in one aspect of life compared to another. You need to consistently be the same person. The way you do anything, is the way you do everything.
Your digital reputation is the start of your personal brand. You cannot begin to brand yourself as a professional if your reputation does not amount to the brand you are building. If your digital reputation is lacking or suffers, so will your personal brand. You will accomplish nothing if your reputation cannot support the claims your personal brand makes.
Dig deep and uncover the flaws in your digital reputation. Change what needs to be changed, and ensure your digital reputation is professional and inviting.
How Do I Develop My Personal Brand?
Associate yourself with the best people that you can be around. Understand the metaphor, "Water finds its own level." If you associate with terrible people, your level of water will decrease, to equalize with their level. If you associate with professionals, mentors, and business leaders, your level will need to increase to match theirs. Essentially, you will equalize with whomever you associate with, good or bad. If you are trying to elevate your life, seek those that know more than you from experience.
Start developing your personal brand by auditing your digital reputation and think about how you will present yourself to the world. If someone views your Facebook, what will they conclude? If the message you are sending to the world is that you are an energetic, positive, and valuable person, then you're headed on the right path.
If your digital reputation is in need of repair, then it is suggested to work on your reputation first. Would you want an incomplete book published? Would you want an unfinished project submitted? No and no. Work on yourself, your personal development, and when you feel you are ready, branch out and define your brand.
Plan accordingly, and set goals for yourself. You need a course of action if you're going to promote your personal brand. Your goals should include developing your own skills, advancing your career, and helping others.
You cannot grow your brand through thought and planning alone. You need to act after you have planned. One of the best ways in building your brand is through creating your own website with your name. Although it may seem scary at first, the benefit of your own website is to engage more people than simply those you work for or with. A website can display the value you add to the world, and showcase some of your best talents. In a sense, it is a portfolio of your life's work, not simply your work life. A website will allow you to connect with an unlimited amount of people.
Continue to maintain your goals and your image. If your brand is focused on website design, then you should continually be offering advice and instruction to those willing to learn, while seeking the experts in your field. Do not confuse helping someone with "training" your competition. Helping others to achieve success will only build on your brand image and digital reputation. Without aiding others, your brand will be tarnished with a terrible reputation. Help those that you can, and learn from those willing to teach you.
This Is My Brand
Remember to own everything concerning your brand. The good, the bad, and the unknown, should all be within your concern. Strive to make wrongs right, continually connect with other people, and always improve yourself.
As you develop your personal brand, remember that you can include some of your social media accounts in your goLance profile. Connect your LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and other accounts as well as your own website. It will build trust with potential clients, and help to expand your personal brand and identity.
If you have any questions about your personal brand, please leave us a comment below.
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