Your Brand is What People Say About You When You’re Not in the Room. This quote by Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, illustrates the fact that everyone who has a pulse already has a personal brand.
You may be asking yourself, “If I already have a brand, what’s all the hype I keep hearing about Personal Branding and is it really that important to my success?” If you are like most people, it probably seems a bit overwhelming to imagine using “your brand” in your marketing, because you may not like the brand you have been given by default and you don’t know how to create one that is appealing to others and celebrates who you are.
It doesn’t matter if you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a real estate agent, a MLM’er, or a stay at home mom, every woman needs to recognize and embrace the things that make you special, valuable, and distinct in this world.
Trust me on this. When you truly know who you are, you’ll know what to do in any given circumstance. Your self-worth will no longer be based upon your emotions, your situation, or worse yet, other people’s emotions or situations.
There are three things that everyone should understand about the concept of personal branding and how it affects your self-perceptions, your relationships, and your professional success.
You can create the brand you want and determine what you will be known for. Your brand conveys to the world what makes you special and is a celebration of who you are and the value you bring. If you do not have a brand by design, you have one by default. Don’t believe it?? Well, remember the labels we all had in high school? Jock, nerd, band-geek, skater, the in-crowd… That was your brand. We’ve all seen it in action and the saddest thing is that many people simply accept this label and continue to live up to it even long after high school.
Instead of languishing in a stale, boring, and often entirely inaccurate brand, you can easily take back control of not only how other people perceive you, but also how you see yourself. This is HUGE for those of us who have ever had feelings of insecurity or inferiority in either your personal or professional lives. (That pretty well covers everyone.)
Luckily, it isn’t nearly as difficult or overwhelming as it might seem. Check out these tips for a recognizing and defining who you really are by embracing your own unique personality.
Your brand should be designed for the life (or career) that you want, not the one you currently have. Focus your brand image on long-term aspirations and you will attract opportunities that will propel you toward that lifestyle and systematically eliminate those that don’t.
Stop thinking that you are uninteresting; we all have a story, a purpose, and unique traits and abilities. Get rid of the notion that you would be “faking” your brand if you create it to reflect who you want to be. You’ve probably heard the old adage, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” By changing your inner conversation and the way you think about yourself, your mind is hardwired to act in a way that is consistent with your new way of thinking. You will automatically generate more action that reflects who you are and how you want others to perceive you—your personal brand.
When co-workers, friends, family, and acquaintances perceive you in a different light, you’ll find that they will treat you in accordance with your brand. No more “Little-Miss-Always-on-the-Outside-Looking-in” for you!
Your brand is a lifestyle and creating and maintaining it should be viewed as Reputation Management. What you say, do, and post online is at least just as important as what you do offline. If you stick your foot in your mouth in front of a co-worker or acquaintance, the damage can most often be repaired quickly and without much drama. If you post something unflattering or inappropriate online, the damage can be exponentially worse. What’s more, once it’s out there in cyberspace, there is no foolproof way to take it back.
Hiring managers often Google potential employees and search them on social media in order to get a more accurate depiction of their lifestyle, values, and personality. Even potential suitors and co-workers will check you out online to see what you are really like outside the office.
It should go without saying that you should never post anything online that you wouldn’t want your boss, your spouse, your kids, or anyone else you might ever want to make a good impression upon to see. Don’t rant and rave about something if you wouldn’t address it directly with the person you have a beef with—or even if you would.
Don’t post pictures that might be construed as inappropriate or that might compromise your authority. That means no itty-bitty bikini pics with you downing Jell-O shots.
Defining your Diva (developing your personal brand) doesn’t put you in a box with a label and hold your personality hostage. It allows you to accept and celebrate that personality and gives you the liberating freedom to live your life by design.
What are your thoughts? Have you taken the time to get to know your inner diva and define her for the world to see? If so, what did you discover about your intrinsic value? If not, what’s stopping you? Please leave your comments and questions below and I would Love it if you would take a moment to “Like” us on Facebook! :-)