If you are a leader – or an expert in your field, whether you like it or not, you are Captain of your personal brand.
Do you buy from people you don’t like? Do you return to places where an individual has shown you bad service? Have you been in a business meeting where a person has looked disinterested or tired? Have you made decisions about a person from what you read about them on social media?
If the answer is yes, join the millions who are judging others from perceptions about their personal brand and therefore could be making decisions about you and whether to work with you.
A personal brand is a tangible asset
Today, your personal brand along with the brand value of your company appears on the balance sheet as a tangible asset. It is no longer a domain that belongs firmly in the marketing department alone and can affect shareholder value. Your personal brand creates an acute perception in the mind of customers and prospects and of course encourages an emotional attachment.
Your digital resume often speaks before you do
Yes you could say you don’t care. But in today’s world of the digital resume and decisions made in nano seconds, it may be more sensible to take hold of your personal brand with purpose. Your efforts can create an immediate upswing in business as people take more notice of you, your expertise and your proposition.
Deal with competitors by showing why prospects should choose you
If you’ve done great work for a company and yet your competitor is taking the limelight on exactly what you have just done, only better, it may be time to put the word out there – on and with purpose – to get the recognition you deserve.
Your business needs good people
If your staff care, you should care. People want to work with people they respect and feel empowered by. They want to know what their boss or team mates stand for clearly, which is why the personal brand of each and every one of your team is important to encourage and grow.
So how are you perceived?
What do people say or think about you? How do you make them feel? Are you tough but trustworthy? Is your word your bond? Do you make people feel relaxed, encouraged? Are you surly or bright and bubbly? Are you confident or passive aggressive? What would your clients or team say about you?
So what is your personal brand?
Your personal brand is built from your core values. Who you are and what you stand for. It is represented from attending social events, your body language, the way you speak and deal with people, quotes in the media, the way you walk into the office, who you hang out with, your business card, collateral and online presence.
Take a quick audit of your own digital resume and make a judgement of how you are perceived – is it ‘’sitting’’ right with you? If yes, congratulations, but if not, the year is young and it’s a good time to start making solid and positive change. Whether it’s fitness, dress sense, networking skills, a better sales kit, presentations, elevator pitch or better database management by making those calls to people you know you should contact. A positive change in any of these departments has the power to make or break your business.
Take a look at everything from your stationery, logo and advertising to your website, office look and social media presence (or lack of). Strategy is everything. Know your key messages. Fine tune your core values. Stick to them (don’t stray from them). Work on getting it right every time. Think how would my brand behave in this situation? This way, you never stray from your brand identity and confuse. Your personal brand should be nourished, transparent and mutually beneficial. Embrace social as the new tools we have provide us with the opportunity for honest, open dialogue and help personify your brand. Use the social media platforms well and make sure your brand lives up to its name.
Happily ever after…
Creating a great personal brand is just the beginning. Your brand should be treated like a long term relationship. It requires trust, honesty, communication and continual work to get it through the honeymoon period and create long lasting partnerships. I find that if a personal brand is true to itself, transparent and open, it flourishes. As I always say, putting your personal brand out there means to just be yourself, but on purpose.
About the author:
Sharon Williams, Founder CEO of integrated marketing and PR agency, Taurus Marketing. Sharon is a pioneer in the Australian marketing and public relations agency industry. She is a CEO, Fellow of the PRIA, international speaker, personal brand expert, entrepreneur, mentor, marketer, media commentator and frequent mainstream editorial contributor.
Under Sharon’s leadership and entrepreneurial flair, Taurus is now recognised as one of Australia’s highest profile agencies, offering unparalleled levels of service to global corporations including Advance, UTS:INSEARCH, Appster, Napoleon Perdis and Clean Up Australia.