A personal brand encompasses the ‘what’ and the ‘who’ – it’s not only what you bring to the table but who you are when you’re bringing it. It’s a mix of your values, drivers, reputation, behaviours, skills, strengths and image and it’s what makes you you.
It’s the reason someone can have the perfect CV for the job, but you just can’t bring yourself to hire them. Or why someone with years of experience should technically get a promotion, but you just don’t see them at a higher level. Or why, despite someone being further up the hierarchy, you just can’t bear to take orders from them. What they have to offer ticks the necessary boxes, but who they are leaves something to be desired.
So it’s really important to know what your brand is, because people buy people. If you don’t know who you’re selling – both to your learners and in terms of getting support from the board – you make it a lot harder for people to ‘buy’. But if you have absolute clarity about what’s on offer when it comes to your personal brand, and convey that in everything you say and do, you make others’ decisions to buy a lot quicker and easier.
Whether it’s learners, colleagues or Board members, you’ll build trust quickly and work together better if you follow these three simple steps to building a great personal brand:
- Think about what it is that makes you different from those around you – that people already rate about you and that’s a real strength – then put it at the heart of your personal brand. Pay particular attention to the ‘who’ part of your brand: your behaviours, drivers and values.
- Consider how you currently convey that aspect of your brand in everything that you say and do. If high quality and attention to detail is what you’re offering, are your emails free of spelling mistakes and grammar errors to back that up? If gravitas is what you offer, does your image convey that through your clothes, posture, body language and voice? If being a good networker is your thing, does your LinkedIn profile reflect that by being up to date and comprehensively filled in?
- Like any brand, the people buying it need to be reminded what’s on offer, so find ways to stay on their radars. Invite them for a coffee, or drop by their desk. See what they’re up to on LinkedIn and add a comment, or put your own updates on there. Pick up the phone instead of typing an email. Share information that they might find useful and be seen as someone who adds value.
About the presenter
When it comes to personal branding, Jennifer Holloway knows her stuff. From her corporate days running press offices to being the boss of her own business she’s built relationships, gained clients and stayed on people’s radars by promoting who she is – not just what she does.
As the author of Personal Branding For Brits she’s taken what she’s learned and created a practical guide to blowing your own trumpet to help as many people as possible discover being successful means being yourself. (Even if that’s admitting you’re a fan of The Archers like she is!)