WHY KNOWING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND WILL HELP YOU SUCCEED WITH CO-WORKERS, BOSSES AND CLIENTS
Have you ever seen a beautiful bag in a store—or maybe it was a pair of shoes, or that 60-inch TV set you’ve been considering– and stopped to look more closely at the price tag?
You know the feeling: you nervously flip the price tag over, and then feel your eyes grow wider as you think, “who would pay that price?” That’s sticker shock.
And it’s also brand. Someone is paying that price, after all. And it’s because that brand has cultivated its ability to dictate that price—as well as a whole lot more.
It makes sense, right? If brand is sought after—like, say, Sony or Samsung, Louis Vuitton or Gucci, Pega or Rulesware—people are willing to invest heavily because of the high quality, design, or delivery of a consistently high-quality experience. Essentially, those brands have built trust among their customers, which makes for customer loyalty.
And loyal customers will tell their friends about the brand, resulting in the kind of advertising that any brand would kill for: it’s free advertising for the brand, first of all, and is also extremely effective in attracting other customers, and in creating a positive ‘buzz’ for the brand.
At this point, you may be asking, “What does this have to do with me?” Well, I am so glad you asked.
The Brand of Y-O-U
Just like those big-name brands, you too have a brand—as a person and a professional.
And in order to make the most of that brand, whatever your purposes, you need to first understand what it is now. Begin by asking yourself the question: “What is my brand?”
EXERCISE: What is My Personal Brand?
The following exercise will help you understand your brand today and determine if that is the brand you really want attached to you.
EXERCISE: Take 5-10 minutes, and follow the steps below.
You Need to Know Your Brand to Improve Or Adjust It
If you disagreed with, or disliked, the way your brand was represented after completing the exercise above, it just means that your actions and the experiences someone has had with you has led them to have that view. If you thought your brand was something else, the power is truly in your hands to make an adjustment so that your brand aligns with your expectations or aspirations.
You can repeat the exercise (perhaps with different people) as many times as you need to in order to align your results and communicate the kind of brand you desire.
Once the terms are aligned, though, the work is not complete: you still have to maintain your brand.
What this really means is that your brand can begin to speak for you.
The Benefits of the Right Personal Brand
People who subscribe to your brand will tell others things like “Jennifer would be a great fit for that” or “Marshall was the reason we were able to …”, or they will praise your successes in such a way that even people who haven’t met you will already be a fan. Imagine never having to seek out your next position because your brand is so strong that the opportunities come directly to you.
Your brand is so valuable that it can provide you with free advertising for your skills to support your career aspirations. Mentors will seek you out, loyal supporters will become evident, and the buzz about you can begin.
Once you know your brand, you are no different than a Gucci or Samsung. You’re officially a company of Y-O-U. And the image and brand will become well worth protecting.
How do you protect your image? Watch for my next post.
About the Author
Venida Washington is a married mom of three who juggles a full time career and busy home life. She enjoys helping others assume the control over their career and learn how to leverage their supporters, colleagues and leadership to carve out a path that suits their skills and aspirations. She works at Rulesware as a Senior Consultant. She regularly contributes articles on success and productivity in the workplace to the Rulesware Blog. Contact her at venida.washington [AT] rulesware.com.