You've heard the term PERSONAL BRAND more often than you care to admit. What's all the hype? What does it really mean?
Personal Branding is a way of living. It is about being true to your core values and capitalizing (literally) on your strengths. Think "reputation". What is it your friends, family, peers and others say about you? What do you stand for and what do you take a stand on?!
Your brand is more than a catchy tagline. It is the whole shebang, you. It includes your quirks too. It is what you say and do and what how others perceive you.
I would guess that every one reading this already has the beginning of a personal brand. They have strengths and a reputation.
Step 2 is to take what you know about yourself and find ways to "live" it – thought, word and deed.
Thinking your brand
What are your priorities, goals, values, biases, phobias, motivators, stressors?
What are those thoughts, ideas, concepts that pop into your head regularly? Do others know about your thoughts?
Speaking and writing your brand
When you communicate, your brand oozes out. Your choice of words, your tone, your attitude are all conveyed. Who is hearing this? Who else needs to hear it?
Acting out your brand
The things you choose to act on, the things you do, the activities you support and are involved with, the events you are associated with are all ways you act out your brand. Are the right people seeing this?
You can't live your life constantly worrying about this stuff, it would drive you crazy. You CAN assess it every once in awhile. When was the last time you stopped and took a look at this? Try using the SWOT analysis to see how you are doing. What are your strengths in living your brand (are you thinking, speaking, acting on-brand). Where are your weaknesses in living your brand (what could you be better at doing). Where are there opportunities to live your brand more or better? Are there threats to living your brand? (What might be a concern now or in the future to you and your brand).
Don't live in a bubble, get help with this. Brainstorm with people you have trusting relationships with. Is living on-brand something you do now? I would love to hear from you.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.