Branding with Brandi: 8 Steps to Building your Personal Brand
When we think of brands, we commonly think of recognizable names like Tiffany & Co., McDonalds, Nike, and Amazon, but have you ever thought of yourself as a brand? Start by asking yourself why is everyone drawn to those popular products or services over their competitors, and what qualities and characteristics set them apart. Using that same thought process, think about yourself and what qualities and characteristics distinguish you from everyone else.
Recognizable brands reveal the power of perception and the strategy of self definition. People are drawn to their perception of you and the reputation you leave behind— a unique combination of personal characteristics, values, strengths, and passions create value and separation from your peers. You’re just as much a brand as Nike, why not market yourself as one? If you’re looking to effectively market yourself, generate more leads, or establish yourself as a thought leader, developing a personal branding strategy is critical to your success.
The first and most important step in developing your personal brand strategy is defining your Personal Brand. Follow these 8 steps to begin defining your personal brand:
Define your target audience.
Who do you want to receive your message?
Contemplate your vision and purpose.
Think bigger picture here—in what areas of life would you like to see improvement, and what role will you play in making that happen?
Discover your values and passions.
Values are your guiding principles (ex. collaboration, transparency, impact, integrity), and passions are the things that motivate you. By determining your values and passions you’ll naturally gravitate towards people and activities that best align with yours. Notice how these correlate with how you operate at your job, around others, etc.
Identify 3 - 4 of your best attributes.
Some questions to ask yourself: What adjectives would others use to describe you? What words would you use to define your personality? What personality traits best showcase how you work towards your goals?
Identify 3 - 4 of your greatest strengths.
What is your unique “super power” that has benefited others or your company? Your strengths are the skills that position your value above others.
Ask for feedback from those that know you best - family, friends, colleagues, managers, anyone.
A true measure of your brand is others’ perception of you, which is a reflection of the reputation you curate. Ask what they think are your top qualities and strengths, and compare their response with what you’ve identified in numbers 4 and 5.
Know who your competitors are, and what differentiates you from them.
Why should anyone choose you over your competitor? Remember your personal brand is the unique value you offer, so consider what qualities you contribute that no one else does.
Finally, select 3 words that best describe you.
If you’ve completed the steps above, you’ve already highlighted your top attributes and have an idea of what qualifications distinguish you from others. Now zero-in further and describe yourself using only 3 words. These three words will reflect your personal brand!