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The Importance Of The Personal Brand

Posted Monday, February 5, 2018 by Jules VanSant.

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“YOUR BRAND IS WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT YOU WHEN YOU ARE NOT IN THE ROOM”- Jeff Bezos, CEO & Founder of Amazon

By Christopher Ebmeyer via LinkedIn

I recently went through a self brand evaluation for a project I was working on, and it was one of the most eye-opening things I could have done when it came to my personal brand, how my brand is perceived, pros and cons and areas of opportunity. It was life-changing to say the least.

Every one of us is a brand, and everything that we are, do and say contributes to our brand. From the job we do, to the car we drive, or the tattoos we get, EVERYTHING plays a role in your brand. One of the classic mistakes is to believe that a shiny logo and witty tagline will make a brand. No, a brand is formed in the minds of your consumers, and they have buckets just waiting to be filled with perceptions of what your brand means to them, and that includes your personal brand as well.

If you haven’t done it, now is the time to take a close look at your own brand and see how it compares with what you really desire it to be. It takes a bit of work, but when you can identify the dissonance between self perception and “consumer” perception, the faster you can make adjustments to align it to what you want.

It’s a 5-step process:

  1. Define your brand. List achievements, key skills, attributes and where you are now. Write it down.
  2. External perception. Ask colleagues, partners, friends and family to ANONYMOUSLY help you get a fix on how you are perceived. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What do they value most? What are you good at? Use SurveyMonkey or another form of gathering feedback. Don’t just get the folks who sing your praises, you need constructive feedback!
  3. Compare. Once you get feedback, compile it and measure it up to what your original perceptions were (remember the list you wrote down?) See where you were spot on, and where you need some help to achieve parity with what you perceived your brand to be originally.Map out a plan. Once you have the areas that need more focus, list out some key, tangible and concrete steps to elevate your brand. It could be attending a conference, responding to email more quickly, or just delivering what you said you would, when you said you would. Create goals and timelines to get it done.
  4. Vision. A brand does not sit around and let the world pass it by, nor should your own. Create a list of 5-10 things you see down the road for you personally. Hopes, goals, dreams. See how you can use your brand to achieve those goals, and how they will help you to enhance your personal brand in the process.

Sometimes it’s hard to step outside of yourself and look back at what your personal brand is now, but once you put in the work to analyze that brand, and put the tools in place to build that personal brand, anything is possible.