Your personal brand is how you introduce yourself to the world. It's like your business card.
“Personal branding is what they say when you’re not around” – Jeff Bezos
Claudia S. Herrmann
CHF Consulting Group, LLC
In the fast-paced interconnected world in which we live, it is essential for all individuals, not only for entrepreneurs, professionals, executives, or workers in general to establish an effective presence on social media. Social media provides an exceptional opportunity to publicize your personal brand and with it, your business or professional activity and social interactions. Consequently, you can get noticed, sell, get promoted. In other words, you’re branding yourself. Technology offers you a distinctive opportunity to market your brand. However, first understand the concepts of brand and image and work on creating the best version of yourself to achieve the results you want.
A brand is a symbol, a sign, a name, an initial, a logo, real or invented combined words, etc. that distinguishes one thing from another. A brand can acquire immense value. A brand not only identifies an object but is also a guarantee of its quality. Consumers choose the products or services they consume because of the brand that represents them. Thus, the value of the brand is quantifiable. Just ask Coca Cola how much its brand is worth.
In the fields of communication and marketing, an image is defined as the mental representation that we have of someone or something. It is an abstract concept that exists in our mind, which has been formed through the different perceptions that we experience from someone or something.
Personal branding is applicable to both products and services. There are thousands of examples of celebrities and other famous people with a highly identifiable personal brand, who market perfumes, makeup, clothes lines, books, and other items bearing their name.
All of us human beings, without exception, have a personal brand. Our personal brand consists of our first and last names (think of Michael Kors), or our initials (Coco Chanel or Carolina Herrera) and our personal identity (including our reputation) as an indissoluble union.
Your personal brand is yours from the time you’re born until you die. It is how you see yourself and what you project externally. Your personal brand consists of external factors such as your clothing, accessories, makeup, or haircut. It also consists of your internal attributes such as your voice, your body language and gestures, your personality, your way of expressing yourself, your values and principles, your mission and objectives, your work ethics, your gestures, your manner of speaking, and your attitudes. And it also has a series of associated features such as your interests and hobbies, friends, family, assets, abilities, education, your profession, etc.
Your personal brand speaks of you and for you, it is your ambassador. It tells the people you interact with if you’re are arrogant or friendly, if you’re creative or boring, careful or careless, punctual or late, if you’re trustworthy or unreliable, if you’re loyal or not, discreet or gossipy, proactive or destructive, courteous when interacting with others or if you’re acting like a troglodyte, if your appearance is polished or not, if you are a leader or a follower, if you are an open book or if you hide behind a façade.
So, this is not about to tell you to create a personal brand because you, like the rest of us, are born with one. It is about understanding how you can polish it, much like the way a piece of carbon will be turned into a diamond in the hands of an expert gemstone maestro, so that your personal brand reflects the best version of yourself.
If you know how to enhance your personal brand, you’ll be able to boost your best features and improve those aspects of your “you” that need improvement. In any case, your personal brand must be consistent with what you represent. Here’s how:
1. Dive into your own self, fearlessly, unapologetically
2. Be yourself. Don’t ever pretend to be someone you’re not
3. Be honest with yourself and with others
4. Identify your best attributes and flaunt them in a pleasant way
5. Recognize your less attractive features that require correction and work hard on correcting them
6. Request and obtain honest feedback about yourself from someone who is not closely related to you
7. Strive to improve yourself, every day, by taking one small step at a time
8. Be consistent
9. Make yourself likable
One of the worst mistakes you can make is to ignore how others perceive you. Knowing how to best express your personal brand and how you can use it to your advantage will vastly improve your social and professional performance. (For information on how you can be the best version of yourself see Slow Blink Training Program | CHF Consulting Group).