What exactly is a personal brand? I’m glad you asked.
Simply put, your personal brand is how others perceive you. It’s an outside snapshot of what you value on the inside. A personal brand isn’t a mask you wear around others, and it’s not something that’s created overnight. It takes consistency and time to make an image stick at work and in the world. And to create a winning personal brand, you must understand your values and how people see you right now.
The first step to creating your personal brand is to take inventory of what is, and what isn’t, working for you. Ask yourself:
What are my talents and values?
Now, it’s time to dig a bit deeper. Think about how you’re built, and what matters most to you:
Invite your leader, peers and anyone else who knows you well to speak into your current personal brand. You’re going to have blind spots pointed out, but this is good. You’re also going to learn what people appreciate about you. The point here is to get an idea of how people experience you.
Once that’s done, it’s time to create a new vision for your winning personal brand. Ask yourself:
These questions go one layer deeper to help you discover what really motivates you and what you want to express to the world.
Sharing your personal brand
All this work to create a personal brand won’t matter if you don’t share it with the world. Here’s how to communicate what you’ve learned about your values, beliefs, strengths and character with the people around you:
Be yourself – If you try to be a knock-off of someone else, you rob the world of your unique talents, mission and purpose.
Take action – Put your values into practice. Start taking steps that line up with who you want to be. Come to work a few minutes earlier, and don’t complain about it. Compliment your team on their drive and enthusiasm.
Show (and tell) your brand – Don’t be obnoxious, but you want people to know what you’re all about. Naturally introduce those facts about yourself, your values and your skills in conversations over time. Live them out. Walk your talk.
Keep maintaining and growing your brand – Do as much as you can to live and work in excellence. Continue learning through books, classes and podcasts. Invest in your relationships with peers and mentors, and take care of your health.
Developing your character and personal brand is a lifelong journey. And this is just the beginning!