We all have a personal brand, whether we like it or not. Our personality, reputation, presence, values and personal style are just some of the things that make up our personal brands. As professionals, taking control of our personal brands is a must if we are looking to stand out in our industries. However, it’s not all about winning new clients and sustaining successful businesses. Developing your personal brand and living in accordance with it ensures that you are living more authentically and connecting with people on an intrinsically honest level, which has knock on effects in self-confidence, self-esteem and satisfaction with your own life.
Assess your current personal brand
Our personal brand is best understood through the eyes of others. In personal branding work, we use a 360° feedback tool to assess how your brand is perceived, however you can collect your own “data” by simply asking colleagues, friends, family (and even clients depending on your relationship) how they would describe you in three words. Are there discrepancies with how you see yourself, or would ideally like to be seen? What are some ways you can address these discrepancies and bring your ideal attributes to the forefront of your personal brand to showcase them to others?
Discover your “inner brand”
Taking a close look at your “inner brand”, which includes your vision, purpose, passions, strengths and values, is a vital part of developing your personal brand. Start by assessing your values to better understand what you want to stand for. Living more consistently your values is a very natural way to communicate your personal brand to others. By becoming more aware of these core attributes and living in better accordance with them, you’re more likely to feel more self-confident, which in turn can raise the confidence that others have in you and your business.
Make your “outer brand” work for you
Outer branding is the way in which you convey yourself to the world, including communication skills, presence, personal style, mannerisms, and lifestyle. Our personal style in particular can have a major impact on the way others initially perceive us (and continue to interact with us), and first impressions can sometimes make or break our chance at communicating our personal brands effectively. Start by doing a wardrobe inventory to assess what it “says” about you. Does it represent the brand you would like to put forward? What needs to be added or subtracted? Keep in mind that a big part of personal branding is expressing an outer image that creates an impact and sends the right message.
Differentiate your brand to stand out
Someone with a highly differentiated brand sends a clear, consistent message about who they are and what they are known for. If you feel that you’re not achieving this, try to identify what might set yourself apart from others in your industry. Start by looking to your strengths or unique traits and think about how to bring them into the spotlight. For example, if great customer service is your thing, really make a point of this, asking for testimonials that highlight this aspect of your work, and bring it into everything that you do. We can also differentiate ourselves through outer branding; think about adding something unique and memorable to your personal style, or perhaps even in the way you communicate with others. The key is to highlight what makes your personal brand unique, and do so consistently and authentically.
Bringing together her extensive training, experience and passion in both psychology and branding, Dr Lisa Orban founded Golden Notebook. A clinical psychologist, Lisa trained and practised in New York City for eleven years before relocating to London. Lisa helps clients make a name for themselves by discovering their distinct and authentic personal brand. She takes a unique approach to personal branding that combines psychological assessment and theory with branding strategies to create for powerful and enduring individual change and personal impact.
By Lisa Orban of www.goldennotebook.co.uk