You are the CEO of your own company – YOU Incorporated. In today’s fast-paced, competitive and interconnected world it is vital to have a unique powerful and personal brand in order to stand out and be memorable in the eyes of others. Think of some of the world’s most commanding personal brands…Oprah, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson. These individuals have worked long and hard to establish powerful personal brands. How hard have you worked at managing the brand called YOU? Here are 9 ways to design the unique brand YOU.
1. Discover and define your brand
What do you want to be known for? Your brand must be authentic and reflect your personality, values and vision. Write down your mission (what you do) and vision (what you can do-your promise) and set your goals. Select 3 descriptive words you want people to think of when they think of you. Professional, passionate, authentic. This is your brand identity-what people will remember you by. You are your best marketing tool
2. Develop your brand
Companies spend millions on branding and marketing and ensuring they are ahead of their competitors, you too need to develop YOUR BRAND to stay ahead of the rest. Identify your strengths and talents and invest in them. If you want to be known for being accurate and detailed then request jobs or tasks that highlight these skills and this will bring those attributes to the attention of others. If it is being warm and empathetic, nurture this to draw others to you. If it is being articulate, go on a presentation course to hone this. Decide how you are going to package your brand in all that you do, wear surround yourself with-clothing, etiquette.
3. Do a BRAND INTERVENTION.
Once you have a clear description of your brand, look at the areas that are not working and put a brand intervention in place. Pay attention to detail – quality halo, chipped button hole, chewed up Bic pen, cell phone cover/ring, yellow nail polish, email writing
4. Look the part
Consider your appearance. You cannot subconcsiously say ” I am a fun loving girl but I want you to take me seriously while prancing around in a lace cami, tartan mini and stilettos; wielding a cellphone covered in a barbie case.
Your physical appearance is a critical part of projecting the personal brand you want to portray. Look professional at all times and be aware of your body language and how you speak.
5. Find a Brand Mentor
Identify pesonal brands you admire. Study their dress style, gestures they use and how they interact with others. Incorporate some of what they do in your life as you create your own identity and over time you will gain confidence and forge your own unique personal brand.
6. Project your brand values consistently
In order for others to “buy” into your brand message you need to be consistent in your actions and words. If you are inconsistent in communicating your brand you will confuse your audience and they will leave you in no time. You need to be as consistent as the taste of Coca Cola.
7. Keep RE-EVALUATING your brand.
If you notice that people are no longer taking notice of you or projects are slowly slipping away then re-evaluate and make changes. Update your knowledge base about your job, your industry and what is in fashion to keep BRAND YOU at the cutting edge – learn from others -what works and what doesn’t.
8. Keep your online brand professional and updated
In this digital age people communicate through “word of mouse.” They interact with your brand instantly-therefore your online branding needs to be consistent with your brand identity. What does your Twitter, Facebook profile look like? Your online brand is just as important as your offline brand. Your Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter pages will appear on the first pages of Google when people search for you so they all need to have the same information about you, written professionally with a photograph that displays you as a professional. Read this article for more information on how to manage your online reputation.
9. The power of networking
Through networking you can create awareness about yourself and it gives your personal brand credibility. The people that surround you define who you are. Connect with experts and influential people in your industry.