Building your personal brand
By Adam Blanch
Not paying attention to your personal brand means that it is constructing itself. Every time you publish online, speak in public or simply show up to a meeting, it becomes more real. So it's a good idea to decide how you want it to look before it decides for you.
There are three simple steps to building a personal brand:
1. Define your brand
Who are you? What's your vision, what values are important to you, what are your dreams, what's your style, what's your look, what defines your character?
What do you do? What are your talents, abilities, experience and competencies? How do you serve your vision and how do you give service to others?
What's your story? What are the challenges that you have overcome, how have you overcome them, how did you get here, what drives you and what do you stand for?
2. Construct your brand
Start with a résumé and a business card, add in a website, a social media profile, online portfolio, blog and video résumé - as much or as little as you want.
Branding is about standing out from the crowd and showcasing what you can do. If it's a professional brand you're building, make sure it highlights your achievements and competence. If it's an artistic brand, it should show your portfolio and creativity. If it's about promoting your business, consider a content strategy that positions you as an expert in your field.
A strong personal brand should be a unique, living example of your particular style and approach. Don't be afraid to abandon mediocrity and conformity if you want to be noticed. Most of all, show your humanity and your individuality. If you're too slick or too boring, you'll be lost in the crowd. There are plenty of great blogs, books and programs to help you build a brand and most of them are free. Who knows, it might be fun.
3. Live your brand
A brand requires consistency if it is to be trusted. Here today, here tomorrow and continuing to deliver on its promise. Brands take time, effort, passion and coherence. Start as you mean to continue, and then continue. Keep it real and keep it fresh and you'll keep it alive in the minds of your customers.
How do you want to be seen?