Personal branding is the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. While previous self-help management techniques were about self-improvement, the personal-branding concept suggests instead that success comes from self-packaging.
What does that mean?
So, we gave you the definition from Wikipedia, but what does that really mean?
Note the word “practice.” This means that personal branding is ongoing, continually evolving. You do not need to change who you are, but you do need to evolve. The difference – change suggests becoming something entirely different whereas evolve means to develop.
You should always be wanting to improve – to always be evolving.
And how does personal branding fit into all of this?
As you progress through life and your career, you will always have with you your core values, but, through the process of evolving, you will enhance those values and become a brand.
What is your brand?
Do you wonder what your personal brand is?
Ask yourself a few of these questions:
- What makes you stand out from the rest?
- Can people trust you?
- What do you think people say about you when you are not in the room?
- What you stand for? What are your values?
- What your strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your goals?
- What’s your story?
These are questions you can ask yourself and come up with answers on your own. A more complex experiment of discovering your personal brand is to seek feedback from those around you.
Alex Freund, author at Personal Branding Blog, sent a request to some of his friends asking them to send him three words that came to mind when they thought of him. This a good idea, but make sure you allow others to feel comfortable giving you candid feedback AND you are open to listening to it all.
Building your personal brand.
You are a brand. A walking advertisement.
You know that saying, “fake it till you make it”? Be very careful here. Do not replace fake with authentic. There is some truth to “faking” confidence or optimism. Some people can create a turnaround in their lives and truly become confident and optimistic. But faking for the sake of being an imposter is not suggested. Eventually the truth comes out.
If you want to be perceived in a certain way, discover ways to make that happen.
- Be intentional.
- Educate yourself, constantly.
- Find your niche.
- Become the expert in your field so that when others think of whom to call, you are top of that list.
- Build credibility.
- Be authentic.
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