What differentiates one company from another? Services, characteristics, location? One of the top distinguishing factors is the company’s brand image. It’s not just about what the company does and what they sell; it’s about how customers view them. Some companies have customers that are so loyal they tattoo the company logo on their bodies!
If branding is so important, why is a personal brand often forgotten?
Below is a favorite quote of mine that applies not only to a company’s brand, but also personal branding.
Just like a company’s brand image, a personal brand image is not built over night. You can’t stay up all night coding a new web site, designing business cards, and reworking your resume and think that you suddenly have a brand. Like Michael Eisner said…these things are built over time.
Your brand encompasses everything about you – your skills, characteristics, personality, resume, online presence, etc. If all of those things are communicating different personalities to viewers, what does that say about you?
The two most essential things to know when starting to look at your personal brand are:
- You already have a personal brand
- You don’t get to completely determine what your personal brand is
Your brand is what other people think of you, so it’s important to put your best foot forward and make every encounter and interaction you have consistent with who you say you are. In addition to keeping that in mind, below is information I’ve collected over the last few years to help people enhance their personal brand.
Determine how you want to be viewed. When people think of you, what do you want them to think? Ask yourself some foundation questions.
- What do you do better than anyone else?
- What are your values?
- What do you get complemented for the most?
- How do you do what you do? Is it different than other people who are doing the same thing?
- What do you want to do? What are you most passionate about?
Structuring you brand
- Who else has your name? What are other people with your name doing online?
- Register your web site
- Develop Social media platforms
- How much time do you have to dedicate to building your social media presence? It’s better to do fewer platforms well.
- Try to keep your URLs and user names as consistent as possible
- Use one or two photos across all platforms
Personal branding toolkit
- Business Cards
- Social Media
- Email Address
Common mistakes in personal branding
- Thinking your social media posts are protected or having more than one account per social media site
- Posting the same thing to all platforms at the same time
- Not updating social media accounts regularly
- Placing greater emphasis on logos and imaging and not who you are and what you want
Again, your personal brand encompasses all aspects of your skills, personality, digital presence, and attitude. When looking at everything from the way you dress to the Facebook profile photo you have, do you like what it’s saying about you?