Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand.
Your personal brand is what people think about you. It's what they've come to expect of you. It's the thoughts and feelings that immediately spring to mind when your name is mentioned. A personal brand is how you uniquely express your values to the world, every day.
Already know who you are and what you stand for? Great! Having a solid sense of self and defining your core values are the first steps to cultivating your personal brand.
Here are 7 laws of personal brand development you need to consider in order to distinguish yourself from the pack:
People decide on brands they like by emotional response, not rationalization. Presenting your authentic self to people will automatically help others to gain trust in your personal brand because they will believe your representation of yourself to be true. This is why it's important to present your authentic self to the world - flaws included! Your authenticity manifests itself in how you speak, how you dress and how you treat others. People can spot a phony a mile away, so just do you.
Do you have a thing that you do best? Then do that thing! Having a trademark work 'superpower' will help to define you as an expert at whatever it is you do. To build up your reputation, do what you do well and in doing so, you'll meet other's expectations of you.
As the famous (and glamorous) RuPaul says, "You gotta WORK!"- network, that is! You could have the most solid, trustworthy brand in the world but it won't do you a lick of good if you're in a bubble. Get out there, go to networking events, conferences, after 5 meetups and so forth, and show people who it is you really are.
Being consistent in your representation of yourself shouldn't be difficult if you are being authentic. People want to know they can rely on you to be who you represent yourself to be all of the time. Erratic or inconsistent behaviour will breed unsteady opinions of you. Just be you, always.
It takes time to build authentic brand recognition. Be patient, stay the course and trust that with persistent, consistent exposure, people will become familiar with your personal brand.
Do you want to conform or stand out? Do you want others to see you as an innovator or a follower? If building your brand as a leader and being seen as an expert is your goal, then you need to do it in a way that is authentically you. If you look and sound like everyone else, you're inviting employers and customers to go to the cheapest option.
This one is simple: if you are perceived as well-intentioned, the more influential your brand will be. Approaching your work life with a desire to genuinely help others will attract people to you more than anything else.
Developing your personal brand at work is your surest path to being included on interesting projects, working with great people and frankly, making more money. Employers pay more for people they feel are predictable in their delivery. By consistently following these laws of personal brand development, you'll be cultivating your reputation as a reliable source of what you do, be true to yourself, and reap the benefits of having an established reputation.
What do you think? Anything you'd like to see added to the above list? Leave a comment or send me a message with your thoughts and suggestions for building personal brand.