Many successful personages in the world all started by building a strong foundation for their personal brands. Renowned global influencers like Barack Obama, Mukesh Ambani, Lionel Messi and Mark Zuckerberg, all took their time to define, build, communicate and protect their personal brands. A leader in any field needs to create branding principles that are sustainable for the long term.
Business executives need to separate their personal brands from their companies’ corporate identity. Like Steve Jobs, they need to display a different image from that of the organization. Below is a guide to successful personal branding.
It is universal
Every human being has a personal brand depending on the environment in which they exist. It could be a workplace, school, church or family. Some individuals have strong brand strength while others remain weak. It is the responsibility of the individual to boost their personal brand to an enviable level by making the necessary adjustments.
It exists in others
It is important to understand that your personal brand is non- existent in the absence of people. It exists in the minds of others in the way they believe you do. People have the ability to see things in you that you can’t see yourself, your blind self. People are influenced by their own attitudes, your behavior and how you interact with the world around you. You could see yourself as being very generous and pragmatic yet have people believe you are cunning and difficult to deal with. Your personal brand is enshrined in other peoples’ perceptions of you.
You must first give your personal brand a clear and strong definition. Not unless you define it will you know which direction to follow.
Michelle Bridges, while addressing the Australian Institute of Business, stated that having a plan is not good enough. Yes, you need to know what you want, but most importantly, you need to know how to achieve that through actions. Without action, even the best plan is useless.
Focus on audience
To succeed in self-branding, you must focus on your audience because it is composed of people you want to influence at the workplace, in career fairs or the society in general. You will be require to satisfy a need in your audience for your personal brand to climb the success ladder.
If you want to measure the level of success of your brand, you must research to know how your audience perceives you. If you are lacking consistency in what your audience thinks you are and what you believe about yourself, you need to seriously modify your personal brand.
All brands are inclined to both emotional and functional needs. Emotional needs will help you connect better with workmates. Functional needs only encompass the job you are allocated to do.
Never promise something you know you cannot accomplish. Work hard to win audience credibility for better personal brand rating. Be consistent. This fronts you as someone whose movements, positions and even attitudes can be predicted.
Always avoid mannerisms that can tear apart your brand confidence. Show some consistent behavior both inside the office and while working at home. Vices from the home may get to the company without your knowledge. Don’t be surprised when your boss suddenly wants to know why you are falling behind on the rent. This corrodes your financial ethics and should be avoided.
Keep communicating your brand to your audience. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. A fake brand has no longevity in the market.
Never take shortcuts to personal branding. You need to work hard to get pleasant results. If you devote time to following social media tips such as making new connections and expand your audience, then you are on the right track. Create social media accounts and actively update them. Don’t change the identity your audience has known for a long time. Why pretend to be the best CEO when everybody knows you are the chief operating officer? It will irk your audience and loose a brand persona that you worked hard to create.
A successful personal branding approach will boost your company’s influence and enhance your reputation within and outside the company. You need to be patient when carrying out a self- branding strategy because it is aimed at a long term output.
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