What is a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is how you portray yourself to the outside world to make sure people have the right perception of you. Having an intentional personal brand is great because it can help every day professionals elevate their profile by establishing them as an authority in their field.
"Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you."
- David McNally and Karl Speak
Be Your Own Brand
So, how do you create a personal brand?
The process is quite similar to how you brand a business. You have to consider several things such as:
Your personal values help guide you, and are part of what attracts your clients to you. If you build your values into your personal brand you’ll often find that clients that hold similar values, or who appreciate those values, will seek you out.
Your Strengths and Weaknesses
t’s important to identify your strengths and weaknesses, as these can make or break your business. Knowing them allows you to focus on the positives that will strengthen your reputation, while putting safeguards in place to neutralise any weaknesses.
These are the things that make you ‘you’. They are one of the ways that you can differentiate from others in your field. People like to work with people that have a bit of personality as it can help build trust.
Let’s be honest, it’s highly likely that you’re not the only person in your industry. That doesn’t mean that what you do is exactly the same. How can you make your interactions with your clients different and unique?
The way that you present yourself is a major part of people's first impressions of you. So it’s important to portray yourself in a favourable light. Dressing well can also boost your confidence, which your clients will pick up on, helping to build their trust in your abilities.
How you want to be perceived by the wider community
Consider how you actually WANT your clients to perceive you and how you want them to FEEL. Do you want to be perceived as professional or as a giant goofball? Do you want them to feel energised and motivated or calm and relaxed? These things will affect which parts of your personality you choose to display to your clients.
Keep in mind that your personal brand shouldn’t feel like a facade you put on every time you meet clients, it should feel natural for the most part. If your personal brand doesn’t come easily, it’ll be hard to maintain consistent messaging and relationships.
It’s also important to consider how your personal brand relates to that of the business you work in. Having complementary personal and professional brands helps to create trusting relationships with clients and seamless client experiences.
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