A Brand New You
Actor, plumber, baker, manager, scientist, athlete, nurse … Whether you know it – or like it – or not, you and what you offer are a brand.
You may be looking for your next employer, your next role or a higher grade, your next customer, interview or review … success or failure are influenced by how you develop and market your brand.
Top ten tips for Personal Branding:
Personal Branding 1 – Know what you are.
Are you a rarity, offering something special in short supply? Or if there are a lot of you, do you know your Unique Selling Point?
Personal Branding 2 – Be your values
What do you believe in and stand for? This is part of your image and will influence others’ opinion. And if you don’t live the values, you’ll be found out as a fraud.
Personal Branding 3 – Develop your product
Are you any good? Can you do it with style and grace? Do you know what you’re talking about? Whatever ‘it’ is, work at it. Be a go-to person, keep up to date, refresh and recharge, advise and consult. That confidence will show.
Personal Branding 4 – Look the business
There are a lot of services promising to refine your dress sense, colours, hairstyle – we do respond to what we see and if you look up to date, stylish and well groomed you’ll inspire more confidence than if you don’t. It’s not rocket science but it evades so many. It may only take the tiniest of tweaks; some high fashion glasses, new shoes or finally admitting that pink does not suit you, or a signature piece that will forever be associated with you. Little Black Dress, anyone?
Personal Branding 5 – Speak well
How do you sound? Do people enjoy listening to you, or do they visibly wince when you open your mouth? I’m not talking accent [that can be a key part of a successful brand], but do you have any odd habits that put people off? Record yourself and get some feedback from people you trust, then invest in some public speaking skills training.
Personal Branding 6 – Manners matter
Do you gossip, bitch, criticise, kvetch, backstab and whinge? Or do you champion a little old fashioned courtesy, offering honest and respectful feedback? And do you love what you do and get on with it with passion, positivity and a sense of fun? In short – are you a radiator or a drain?
Personal Branding 7 – Be seen and heard
Have some good headshots taken, and make sure your photo’s all over your online presence. Add it to your business card, too – putting a face to the name helps them find you. Practice reading aloud and talking off the cuff, and make audio and video recordings for your website, blog and social media. Talk about your field in an engaging and entertaining way – being invited to be a keynote speaker feels great.
Personal Branding 8 – Make social networking work
It’s no longer about what you had for breakfast; social networking is vital for business today. Linked In has real power now and Twitter allows you to speak to the world. I recently tweeted on a current subject and twelve minutes later received a call inviting me to speak on BBC radio. And your personal and business Facebook pages can have a long reach. Just remember that every single photo, comment, status update and share you put out there feeds into your brand.
A person of note has something to say and the internet gives us all somewhere to say it. If you don’t already, start writing articles, opinion pieces and useful advice and ensure you have a website that reflects and supports your brand.
Personal Branding 9 – Make business networking work
It’s not just what you know, it’s whom you know. Contacts, word of mouth, reputation and recommendations keep business moving. Google local business networking events – and go. Facilitate others, learn the art of making introductions and the pleasure of good conversation.
Personal Branding 10 – Be your own best advert
Have your elevator pitch polished and ready, your brief confident answer to ‘and what do you do?’ Umming and erring, self deprecating and looking embarrassed will not advertise your brand in a good way. Be interesting, proud and excited about what you’re doing now, and be interested in others and their activities, too. A lot of business works at a social level – do they understand you, trust you … and like you?
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