Why you need to start thinking about Personal Branding
Let me start by saying this is a first blogpost in a serie. I’m going to help you understand the intertwinement between your personal brand and your business or professional life. Because even though people love to do business with people, I believe that those same people are always checking you out first and see you as a business more than a person. Are you confident with that they’ll find if they do?
Doing business, whether it’s the entrepreneurial kind or whether you are looking for a job, it’s all based on the way people see you and the way they feel about you. That was valid ten, twenty, a hundred years ago when the internet wasn’t what it is today. But it’s even more valid in today’s day and age. All the information is available right at people’s fingertips and believe me, everyone is checking you out when they are thinking of doing business with you or want to hire you.
Marketers McNally and Speak define personal branding this way:
“Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”
Personally, the way they define personal branding bugs me, especially the ‘maintained by somebody other than you’.
NOBODY IS IN CHARGE OF YOUR PERSONAL BRANDING, BUT YOU!
As someone who is professionally doing business, either for a company or at a company, you have the tendencies to take control over your own career and so should you take control over your personal brand. Others can’t build a personal brand for you! Yes, you’ve read that correct. While your reputation is the sum of what other people think of you, personal branding is not. Personal branding is often confused with reputation.
Reputation is the sum of the results of your personal branding.
Come again? Yes, your reputation equals the grand total of each and everyone’s perception of you.
A reputation is something that can help you in the long run (or bites you in the behind), but it all starts with building personal relationships. As I mentioned right at the start of this blog, people do business with PEOPLE! So treat your business like that. Personal branding is personal, it’s one on one. It’s managable. They way you interact with a single person, based on your values and believes is what everyone does all freaking day. I’m not saying be opinionated, but stick to your guns which define who you are as a person and how you want your business to reflect on others. Me, I don’t even call it business. ‘Doing business’ sounds abstract.
It’s nothing personal. it’s business.
I’m sure you heard that saying, which sums it all up nicely and makes you sound like a prick in the process.
Building relationships is the way to start and work your brand. You have to understand how the layers work before you lay it on them.
A personal brand is a set of values that you believe are important. Yes, YOU believe they’re important. You are drenched with these values and they come natural to you.
The first step in personal branding is defining those values and putting them on paper or Evernote. The combination of these values makes you unique as a person and as a business. Don’t be afraid to name them, there are NO WRONG VALUES. They’re yours, how can they be wrong?
So I wanna leave you with that task today, write down the values that define you as a person. Don’t ask others when you start, keep it close to yourself. What are your personal values, what do you BELIEVE people see when they meet you and get to know you? You don’t have to be perfect at those skills, but first you need to identify how you want people to see you. This will give you invaluable information on how to start your personal development, besides developing your business.
I’m so hoping you dive into this with both feet. I’ll try to keep things as practical as possible, I’m not a theory kinda guy. I hate it when things don’t serve a purpose. It has no value to me if I can’t use it. That’s one of my values, practicality. So I’m going to keep these blogs as practical as I can for you too.
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