Jeff Bezos, the founder, and CEO of Amazon is famously quoted as saying that “your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room”
A personal brand is a unique combination of your story, your skills, qualities and experience. It’s what makes you who you are and what you are about. It is how you present all of this to the outside world.
So, lets imagine you have been at a networking event at work and you have just left the room. What would people say about you?
Is what they are saying about you what you want them to say about you? Is it good? Is it bad? Is what they say consistent? Are they all saying the same things about you?
Are they saying anything at all?
These are the types of questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to your personal brand.
A personal brand is important because it says something about you. Your identity is about who you are, your brand is too. So firstly, a personal brand says something about you. It makes you immediately describable. It makes you memorable.
A personal brand gives you visibility and raises your profile. It also differentiates you. If people don’t know who you are, if they don’t know your qualities or your skills, how will they bare you in mind for opportunities or jobs? This isn’t your CV or your professional bio although how you present them is part of your branding. Its about ensuring others have complete clarity on who you are and what you are about so they think of you for the right opportunities.
A personal brand allows you to control your own narrative. By being clear with people what you are about and by presenting your brand consistently, you teach people what to think about you and how to describe you. You give them a universal and consistent language. This ensures your brand doesn’t get diluted because others don’t know what you are about so they fill in the blanks. If you don’t control your narrative, others will.
A personal brand gives you credibility and makes you trustworthy. A strong personal brand creates a strong reputation. When someone knows what you are about, it gives you credibility. When you have credibility, you are seen as more trustworthy. Put the other way…if you don’t know what someone is about, do you trust them? Of course you don’t.
Finally, a personal brand creates personal pride. It increases the respect you have in yourself. The simple act of deciding that you want to create a personal brand shifts your perspective. When my clients begin their personal brand work they start to think about themselves differently. They start to treat themselves as a priority and see the enjoyment of putting themselves first. They are more precise in how they project their brand and they take much greater care in their messaging.
I spend a lot of time with clients getting them to see their brand as a business. They have to realise that they are their own CEO, how powerful they are and how powerful their brand can be. When they realise this, the magic happens.