Developing your Personal Brand is all about how you personally can take control of your future. How you can be proactive and seek the future you are looking for.
Your Personal Brand is what can help you to attain the future you wish for – your career, your relationships, your goals. You are in control.
That is a very PROACTIVE approach to life!
Among the many who share their thoughts on Personal Brand, there is a TED talk by Jenni Finders.
Jenni was previously the Vice President of Microsoft. She is now the Global chief of VMWare who are global leaders in cloud infrastructure and digital workplace technology with 22,000 employees.
The YouTube video is around 14 minutes long. It takes a little while to get going, but Jenni has a good message.
Here are some of Tracy’s thoughts on Personal Brand combined with some of Jenni’s key points.
What is personal brand?
- Is the Intellectual, Visual and Emotional impression others have when they think of you
- Can sell you, differentiate you, set you apart from others
- Needs to be authentic to be accurate – it’s not sustainable to fake it
- Is a combination of all the experiences you have throughout your life, which builds to tell your story
- Is connected to respect – How you portray yourself relates to how you wish to be treated by others
- Builds your confidence – by working on ‘you’ and understanding your ‘why’ and strengths, this gives you confidence to then sell it to others
Two key parts to personal brand
To me, it’s not just about turning up, looking good and saying all the ‘right’ things. It’s about you as a unique individual, knowing your story and delivering it. And delivering it consistently. It’s about the messages you send others and the perception they hold of you.
I see there are two parts that are connected to your Personal Brand and therefore two parts to work on and develop:
- It’s all about knowing yourself, why you do what you do and why it matters. Your strengths. Your passion. Your goals. Your story.
- Combine this self-knowledges and story with how you deliver yourself, how you ‘show up’, how you appear, your professional etiquette, your behaviour.
These two areas combined help you be the best version of you and therefore the impression you make on others.
An alternative view
Now you might think:
• “I don’t care what people think of me!”
• “I am fine the way I am. People can take me as I am. It’s not important to me.”
My first response is you can’t control how people think. You can’t change other people. However, you can influence what people think by your deliberate actions, behaviours and words. The first impressions you create in people’s mind are perceptions. And then what you display following that first impression over time, will be observed by those you interact with.
My point here is it’s not about judgment and what is right and wrong as viewed by certain people. It’s not about conforming to others. It’s about you taking control of your life.
You have a brand now. Is this the best version you wish to display?
You can’t control what people think, but you can provide a good synopsis of what you would like them to see. You can influence their thinking. I believe the better questions to ask yourself are:
Is the personal brand I have today the most accurate and impactful one for me?
Are you portraying what you want others to see and hear?
If you are around people who don’t appreciate who you really are, your story, your passion and your goals (after spending time determining your own story and sharing it with others) then maybe you need to find people who do. Find another tribe.
And when you find the tribe that matches you….. that creates happiness.
So how do you develop your personal brand?
Start thinking about you. Start spending time on you.
Here are some questions to consider that will help build Part 1 – Your story:
- What are you passionate about in life?
- Why do you do what you do and why does that matter?
- What are your values?
- What are your strongest attributes?
- Name some life experiences and what these experiences have taught you.
- Describe the life you want in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years. What will you be doing?
- If you were to describe yourself to a stranger, what would be your 2-minute story?
- How would your family and friends describe you?
You are a work in progress. Continue to devote time work on yourself and know your story.
PART 2 – The delivery
Once you know your story, or your ‘content’ it is easier to deliver. You will gain confidence from knowing it and when you believe in it and know that you don’t have to conform but deliver your story, you will have presence. You will stand out.
Combine this with looking and feeling presentable in your own comfortable style and being respectful and professional – you will be sharing the best version of you. That my friends is a powerful Personal Brand. There is nothing more appealing than someone who knows themselves and they have ‘their stuff together!’
Why is this important?
I meet many people in my travels. Whether it be potential employees, clients, colleagues and of course friends.
When I come across someone who knows the answers to such questions and knows their story, I find they can deliver themselves in a way that is engaging, interesting and endearing. They seem confident and are comfortable with their life. They are also a pleasure to be around!
It’s not about being all ‘extraverted’ and the star of the show. Some very introverted people I know are very comfortable ‘in their own skin’ and have passion for their story. That makes me want to talk more with them, work with them and be around them.
To me, being your true authentic self, whatever that might be, that’s the aim of the game.
Best wishes with your Personal Brand!