How to develop your personal brand in 5 easy steps

If you’re going to be the best version of YOU EVERY DAY and unlock your REAL potential then you have to pay attention to your personal brand.

“Your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room!”  Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO.

Personal brand and the million-dollar question, is; what do you think people are saying about you?

We live in the age of the brand! From the mobile phone, computer and gadgets we use, to the clothes we wear, the car we drive, the restaurants we frequent or the stores we shop in. We make conscious and subconscious choices determined not just by cost, style, and quality but also by brand.

In today’s fast-moving, ever-changing world, increasingly we’re seeing the concept of brand extending to people.

Creating a personal brand means you are taking an active role in the direction of your life. It helps you make the most of what you’ve got to offer.

If you’re going for an interview and you were asked the question; why should I choose you? how good would you be at answering that question with confidence, clarity and purpose?

Most people realize they’ll have many jobs during their careers and must continually train to prepare for the changing workplace. As a result, creating a personal brand is not a trend; it’s a survival strategy.

You MUST:

  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Be clear what it is you stand for as a person
  • Know what it is you want to be known for
  • Understand what differentiates you from everyone else
  • Be clear on what makes you unique…. what gives you your edge?

In summary, …what’s your personal brand?

At its simplest, your personal brand is how you are perceived by others.

What are people saying about you when you’re not in the room?

‘Great person to know…. truly wants to help you get on’

‘The most authentic, real and down to earth person I’ve ever met’

‘Real strong family values’

‘An action orientated person who makes stuff happen’

You get the picture. It’s your personal brand, it’s about you so make sure people are saying what you want them to say!

Here’s our easy 5-step process for creating your compelling personal brand.

STEP 1 – THE IMPACT OF YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

The first step is about being consciously aware of your personal brand and the impact, both positively and negatively, it has on others.  It’s about wanting to be pro-active in designing and building your personal brand and not leaving it to chance!

Taking personal ownership and recognising it’s something that needs to be worked on is the key first step.

Maybe you’re looking for a new career/job and need to refresh how you present yourself.  Maybe you’ve received some feedback which has made you look in the mirror and you’ve not liked what you’ve seen.  Maybe you’ve lost your way as to who you are, you’re questioning your purpose and you need to re-evaluate what’s important to you.

Once you’ve bought into the concept of personal brand and why it is hot-wired to your impact both personally and professionally then you can move on to step 2…

STEP 2 – THE WINNING TRAITS OF A STRONG PERSONAL BRAND.

Think about individuals in your personal and/or professional life you really admire and respect. What is it in their personal brand you really admire? What is it that makes them stand out?

At the core of your personal brand is your personal values. Take time to really capture these in black and white, clearly articulating why they are important to you and how you live your personal values on a daily basis

Think back to your childhood and your family values. What are those values and how important are they to you today? Are they the foundation and filter through which you drive your decision-making and determine what is right or wrong?

Be clear on what your purpose is, what you enjoy doing and where you feel you can make a positive difference and add tangible value. I always say to people if you can turn your passion into your career then every day you have the opportunity to truly enrich the lives of others doing work that you love doing.

Identify the 7 brand traits you do well and capture the 7 areas where you feel you have further development work to do.

STEP 3 – SENSE CHECK PERCEPTION VERSUS REALITY.

They say feedback is the food of champions. Armed with the 7 things you think you do well and 7 developmental areas pick half a dozen people – 3 personally and 3 professionally. Explain to them what you are doing (don’t share your traits with them yet) and ask them what they think are your 7 things which are strong in your personal brand and what 7 traits they think you need to develop?

How aligned are their traits with yours? Do perception (your interpretation) and reality (their view) match?

Where are the gaps, the blind spots if any?

What do you need to work on?

STEP 4 – HONE, POLISH AND REFINE YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

The journey in developing your personal brand has no finish line. It never stops. Every day you meet new people, are put into unique situations, experience different challenges. Change is a constant and therefore you’re constantly adapting to the changing environment. Your personal brand is constantly evolving.

Ask yourself these questions at the end of every day in order to really keep this concept of the personal brand alive and ensure you are walking the talk:

  1. Have I been true to my personal brand today, living with authenticity, purpose and focus?
  2. What one thing have I done today to enhance my personal brand?

In answering these two questions, you will be making sure you are honing, polishing and refining your personal brand.

STEP 5 – BE THE REAL DEAL…YOUR PERSONAL BRAND IN ACTION!

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the key to personal branding is to ensure that the face you show to friends and colleagues chimes with your ambitions.

The key element in developing your personal brand is authenticity.

Your personal brand should reflect your personality, who you are and what you stand for. If it doesn’t you’ll soon be found out. The one thing people are all looking for more than ever is a connection. Connecting with individuals who are the real deal, authentic, values-driven with integrity and moral principles and standards.

Follow these steps and you can create a personal brand which will serve you in realising your personal and professional goals, developing rich and fruitful relationships and living a life where you do truly unlock your real potential.

Personal brand is one of the many subjects covered in our Personal Growth Programme for business, RISE. Click here for more information.

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