Branding is commonplace in today’s consumer-centric culture, but what you may not think about is you have a brand too - a personal brand. Your personal brand functions in the same way as a company’s brand does. It’s your personal promise to the world. It’s your voice, your promise, your perspective. It’s the emotional quality people and customers relate to.
A strong personal brand can be an asset to your company, as well as the one of the most valuable assets you can build for your career. Your personal brand is what you have if your product changes, if you sell your business, or if you start a new venture. It’s the only thing you can carry with you. ((You want people to say things like, “Do you know what [your name here] is doing now? Is going to be great with her/him at the wheel.”))
Do you know what [your name here] is doing now? Is going to be great with her/him at the wheel.
Think about Elon Musk, the founder of PayPal, the CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors, the CEO and CTO of SpaceX, and chairman of SolarCity as well as co-chairman of OpenAI. How many times do you think companies and products get funding just because they have Elon’s name associated with them?
You do not have to be a Fortune 500 company or a CEO of a major corporation to have a strong brand identity - you can create one as a solo entrepreneur or a small business as well. In developing your personal brand, model the desired representation of your company or product to direct the way your existing and potential customers view you.
In order to know where you are going, you must first know where you are. If you don’t already know the public’s perception of you and your brand, ask them!
- Have your customers fill out a survey or an online poll.
- Encourage your customers to write reviews, and make an effort to communicate with them about their experience with your product.
- Ask your friend, business associates and acquaintances what value to bring to the team, family, or group of people.
- Ask yourself what comes easy to you and what did you have to learn the hard way.
This process should give you a clearer vision of your brand identity. Once you have this information, you need to figure out what to do with it. Do you need to change the perception of you or your business? Do you need to redirect some subtle details? Or do you need to spread your message far and wide to help you stand apart from the competition?