Personal is the New Professional
Managing your personal brand allows you to discover your authentic self, personally and professionally, as well as giving you the ability to naturally relate who you are to others in a way that is meaningful and appealing, so you can become more comfortable with, and more successful at, being you.
Personal branding borrows from the highly effective marketing strategies of big name corporate brands and fawned-over celebrities, applying the same rules to your career. You are the brand and the objective is to market yourself as the appealing asset you know you are but have yet to be seen as by others.
The effect is that of inheriting all the marketing power of a unique, memorable and coveted brand.
If You’re Stranded – Get Branded
From your choice of clothing and make-up, to your expressed interests, to the application of your expertise and knowledge, you are either defining or allowing others to define your personality traits, your chosen lifestyle, your values, and essentially your overall worth as an individual and as a professional, leaving you suspended between the person you want to be, and the person they want you to be.
The first step on the path to personal branding rock-stardom is simply to recognise what makes you tick – the hairs on the back of your neck prick up, the butterflies in your stomach cavort and the idea of waking up in the morning utterly electrifying. All you have to do is spend some time reflecting upon your own, magically idiosyncratic story, your triumphs and tragedies, envision your future and exploring your natural talents.
You see, the personal branding process lets your unique characteristics work for you, by packaging them in a way that accentuates their infinite potential. When you invest time in creating your own brand, you prevent others from defining your brand for you. Once you regain the rights to your personal brand, you will determine your position in life, how others respond to you and the way you experience the world around you.
Start with a mental draft of your personal brand proposition by, first of all, investigating a broader field of interest that seems to have continually featured in your life and held a certain fascination for you – once you have settled on a general direction, you can start to refine your aspirations. Do some online research – try to find an untapped market possessing few competitors, within your field of choice.
Continue to narrow down your objectives by asking for the opinions of others, and close the gap between their interpretation of you and how you see yourself.
Social Media Face Off
Your personal brand is written all over your Facebook profile, not to mention your Twitter, Linkedin, Google+ and blog profiles, your C.V. and even your e-mail address, including various other representations of you that make up the disjointed database of faces, cavalierly plastered all over the web by yours truly in the name of keeping pace with the break-neck evolution of social media.
And, let’s face it – at the schizophrenic rate you’re going, with the ‘mullet-rocking, lewdly gesticulating you’ flag-shipping your Facebook page, while the ‘suit-sporting, constipated scowl-wearing you’ upholds the sombre dignity of your LinkedIn profile – you are bound to scare away any admirers, influencers or those with the potential to uplift and assist you in your endeavours, who happen to come across your flaky mental case of a digital reputation.
In addition to your severe multiple social media personality disorder or perhaps the existence of an evil online doppelganger, the many other visually inconsistent, chronologically haywire sides of you swim around the internet wearing gormless grins. In short – it is downright deadly to overlook the transparency of the internet today – the mere click of a search button can open up Pandora’s Box of reputation-shattering content.
A mismatched brand causes audience confusion, obscuring that distinctive, decisive, authentic person within, bursting to be seen, heard and inevitably liked. Personal branding gives that person within one likeable face and one original voice – your own – consistent across all media – online, over the phone, via chat or in person.
Leave zero doubt as to authenticity of your genius.
Up Close and Personal
In order to effectively communicate your personal brand to others you need to simplify your approach so that your message is digestible, allow the process to flow naturally and efficiently by testing out different delivery methods and, most importantly, always ensure that you are crystal clear in expressing who you are and what you stand for.
When the simplicity, efficiency and clarity of your brand work in harmony with one another, the way others describe you and the way you describe yourself will become one and the same, placing you exactly where you want to be in life.
It’s time to showcase your spectacular talents to the world.
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