On the last post I talked about us being the brand rather than trying to sell a brand. As follow up, I want us to look together at the subject matter of Personal Branding in detail to discover together the importance of us as brands and what makes us a great brand.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?
Your brand is who people say you are. It is both a portrayal of who you say you are and an acceptance of same. Personal branding cannot happen until you are sure. A brand is a collection of perceptions in the mind of a consumer.
To be able to identify your personal brand there is a need to know:
a. Who you are. Define who you are by taking time to find your strengths and weaknesses, and how they affect your personality.
b. Know your value system. That is an ability to articulate what is important to you at any point in time.
c. What unique change do I want to make in the world? Never forget that big picture thinking separates the boys from the men.
Definitions are the foundation of success and whoever you define yourself and values as, will go a long way to determine what level of success you will have.
The following are qualities every great brand must possess.
1. BE GENUINE: This is of course driven by what your set of core values are. But basically being genuine is to be who you say you are. What this means is that people can tell that the person you claim to be, is the person you really are. The value of your brand is determined by what is valuable to you. Purpose and excellence are valuable to me so all my activities somehow center on purpose and are executed with excellence. I naturally gravitate towards teaching and leading others towards these two virtues or values.
2. DEPENDABLE: This means for me, that people can rely on you. That is to say that the things you claim you will do, are the things that you do. It is terrible reputation to say one thing and do another. If you must renege on your promise you better make sure that your reason is cogent and tenable.
3. CONSISTENT: Let your talk and your action be in sync. That is to say that what you say and what you do, do not in anyway differ. Consistency is extremely important to the branding process. If you went and bought soap under with the promise that it washes clean and upon using it, you find it actually stains your clothes, there is a gap between the promise and the result. You cannot afford to be seen in this way.
4. RESPONSIBLE: Personal branding is a great deal about taking responsibility. What this means simply is that when you claim that your value system revolves around a particular quality, one day that quality will be put to test. On that day you are expected to be able to rise to the occasion and take responsibility. (This is what you guys will call manning up) If you claim that good leadership is important to you for instance, the day you have the responsibility to lead, you must be able to give good leadership.
A strong personal brand is dependent on the PROMISE of quality. People buy into your promise to deliver good quality.