Your personal brand image must promise value to all

…by Payal Chanania

Who are you? What do you stand for? How do others see you? What can you offer? – Yes, personal branding is no longer confined to the rarefied levels of celebrities and head honchos. Today each of us has to create an individual brand statement irrespective of whether we are looking for a job, networking with associates or building our career.

But, the confounding question arises – what exactly is a personal brand and how do you actually go about ‘branding’ yourself?

Actually all of us already have a brand – good, bad or somewhere in between. It is nothing but your professional reputation, what unique attributes you have and what sets you apart from the crowd!

The onus is on you to develop a sound personal brand that puts across a strong promise of value. This will enable you to control people’s perception of you by communicating the value and benefit proposition that you bring to the marketplace. For instance if you are job hunting, your brand can often sway decision-makers when they try to assess whether you will fit with their organisation.

What actually goes into a brand statement?

Well, do not confuse a brand statement with the run-of-the-mill, boring job description or limit it to your job title alone. An effective brand statement transcends your mere qualifications or functional areas to include your defining attributes like strengths, passions, expertise offered, soft skills, track record and unique accomplishments.

This requires time and effort as you carefully dig into yourself to unearth what really fascinates/excites/energises/challenges you at work. Concentrate on what you value and how it impacts on the bottom line. The trick is to deviate from the usual descriptors and show what makes you unique – these can be small things like confidence, honesty or enthusiasm which will effectively differentiate you from the others. Tying them with your work can help further enhance your value.

For instance, are you able to unify teams or calm explosive situations? Do you always deliver your work on time or complete your projects within the allotted budget? Can you lead, delegate, motivate or mentor in a remarkable manner? Is writing, listening or communicating your forte? Are you adept at finding facts, performing analysis or crunching numbers? Can you intuitively anticipate risks or solve problems diplomatically before they blow out of proportion?

Also, think in terms of how others would describe you – do your peers consider you trustworthy, call you humorous or refer to you as intelligent. Do your customers vouch for your dependable and reliable service? Does your boss call you collaborative and enterprising or applaud your ethical or flexible nature? These descriptions are also part of your brand, but only if they truly pertain to you. As a personal branding expert elucidates, “To know if you have discovered your brand, you need to make this equation equal: Your self-impression = How people perceive you”.

Marketing material: Furthermore, do not confine yourself to what you can do. Think what face you want to show to the world that will position you for success. Then create a development plan to work at acquiring the required qualities. Incorporating these new skills will boost your brand statement and portray you as a high-calibre employee who would be an asset to any organisation. In this context, it is advisable to describe yourself in such a way that transcends any particular industry.

Once you have organised your ‘marketing material’, it is time to pull them together into one vibrant package. Sit down and frame your brand statement in strong, crystal clear language peppered with action verbs. It should be a 30-60 second pitch that will quickly communicate your value in such a way that makes people sit up and take notice.

For example, consider the effect of a top CEO’s brand statement, “A focused and determined business leader, I offer the entrepreneurial stamina and wisdom to drive bottom line growth and lucrative business, inspire employees to peak performance and cultivate profitable business relationships built on respect, loyalty and trust. My easy-going sense of humour has been a defining management strategy to bring out the best in everyone, instil pride and mobilise them to make their company the best in the industry.”

Building equity: Now its time to create a winning image in the minds of people by broadcasting your personal brand statement in all your communications – online as well as offline.

Articulate it to employers, colleagues, customers and other associates. Formulate a condensed version for your resume, blog/website, social networking profile and email signature as well. You can even create a short one for your business card! In short, promote your brand statement so that it grabs eyeballs and provides a memorable impression.

To sum up, you are your own brand manager. Its up to you to create a buzz about the brand called ‘YOU’!

Do you have a good personal brand?

intro60 is the ultimate source of unique tools to build and strengthen your personal brand across all of your online communications.

eMail us and let us assist you. email@intro60.com

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