Tips for building your personal brand

Whether you’re interested in big-name brands or not, you have a personal brand. If you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll be convinced by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos:

What can you do to build your personal brand (without putting style over substance and coming off as a complete narcissist)? Take these tips and get working on your brand:

1. Ask others

So what DO people say about you when you’re not in the room? This is a good place to start: get feedback from people you trust on the first few words that spring to mind when they think of you. How would they answer the question if someone asked them, “What’s [your name] like?”

2. Identify your values

Our values and beliefs are A Big Deal. No kidding; someone, somewhere on this planet is dying for their beliefs and values right now. For most of us, values are about what really matters to us, and if those things are violated or missing, it can be a deal-breaker in both professional and personal relationships. Note down what comes to mind when you consider this question, ‘What’s really important to you?’

3. Get clear on what you’re good at

You’ll have some input on this when you get feedback from others. It can also be useful to complete some kind of assessment or audit of your strengths and skills. You may look back at old school reports as well as recent appraisals. Try an online strengths assessment such as the VIA Survey of Character Strengths(registration required).

The word ‘brand’ derives from the Norse ‘brand’, meaning ‘burn’, referring to the practice of burning an owner’s or producer’s mark onto a product or animal.

4. Notice your behaviour

We’ve all come across consumer brands behaving ‘off brand’ or the opposite of what they claim are their brand values. It’s a real let-down when that happens and we lose trust in them. Don’t let that happen to you. Pay attention to your behaviour with others (the ones who’ll talk about you when you’re not in the room) and moderate it if necessary.

5. Be consistent and ‘on brand’

Is there a ‘work you’ and ‘private you’? Many of us have multiple roles in our lives: wife, manager, author, son, friend, employee, sibling, gym buddy, etc. If there’s a widening gap between ‘work you’ and ‘private you’, stop and think. What’s the discrepancy? How does it show up; what you’re wearing or how you behave? Which ‘you’ are you most comfortable with, and which consumes the most energy to maintain? How can you achieve greater alignment?

You may also find this blog post useful: Boost your self-awareness; and your performance.

Dawn is the author of ‘How to be Zoomly at work’, available on Amazon.

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