Imagine you are at home -- in quarantine times, you don’t need to imagine it right? #stayathome -- and you decide to bake a cupcake, but you never did it before. You will search for some instructions and maybe you will find someone to teach you how to do that. You look several websites, but when you cross paths with Martha Stewart’s recipes you decide it: yeah, she can teach me! You can see she has several different recipes on her website, she has videos with great chefs, she has a TV show and a magazine about cooking. For sure she knows what she is talking about! So you make your decision and among thousands of others, you opt for her advice and recipes. Probably, next time you have a similar issue you will not think twice, you will just log in on her website and leave alone the struggle of looking for trusted people online.
Now, can you imagine if you are someone who carries a public recognized talent like that? It would be great to stand you out from the crowd, right? When you become the symbol of a topic, every time this topic comes up, you are the straight answer to that. It could help your visibility. It could help you to get more clients. It could help you to be invited to participate in an event or TV show... It could help your overall improvement. Well… this is what we call Personal Branding.
Build your personal brand will support the advancement of your career and the development of your leadership skills. When people know you are the person for the job, there is no competition anymore, you call attention to yourself and your work. At some point becomes stupid to even think about an option. You know… when you are Google, you don’t really need to be worried about Bing, right? However, I can see a misunderstanding about this idea. Some people face it like a popularity contest. But it is not. It is not high school all over again, you can relax about it. By building your brand we are working to grab some attention to our personal features, but it is not self-promotion as well.
Looking for some highlighting in the crowd, people start to frame an imaginary perfect image, they promote on social media. This unreal image starts to become commoditized since everyone wants to fill up the same prerequisites. So, we start to see thousand of people alike with no depth in their speeches or actions. This is an irresponsible and useless way to build a reputation. You can (maybe…) succeed in emphasize yourself among everyone, but now you are camouflaged among a smaller group highly similar, where it is almost impossible to be seen.
The unreal image also sells something that might not be true. I see several people promising things they cannot keep, which is a terrible way to deal with your reputation. The person who believed in your advertisement and hired you for a job because of that, expect to receive exactly what you are promoting. If you didn’t stick with it, you will probably disappoint this person, who will never hire you again. And worse, she will tell everyone how bad was the experience she had working with you. Believe me, if there is one thing that can ruin a work forever is: a bad reputation guided by word-of-mouth. It travels really fast and is stronger than the most promotion strategies. First of all your brand needs to be authentic. What you decide to show, or promise need to be true. And you need to have a real connection with the symbols you decide to use. Your brand will be your true values that you are able to consistently deliver. It requires a lot of self-evaluation and self-knowledge to find out inside which are the qualities you have, and how you can support a community with that.
And here I believe is the most important part, your brand is focused not on your needs, but on the community needs. Since you have a superpower that can help them, the power is focused on the results it can have on others’ Life. Do you remember at the beginning of the text, when Martha Stewart helped you to bake your cupcake? It was your issue we were talking about, not hers. She has something (in this case cooking skills) that has value in your life. That is why she could help you. That`s why you start to respect her and trust her in the next cupcake`s adventures. When building a brand, you are framing a role model you will play. And this requires responsibility. This is one of the most important features of a leader. To see someone as a leader you need to be inspirer by the person, you need to trust her and you need to able to understand her qualities and behaviours. It is important you can anticipate her opinion or decision. Because no one can trust a person who changes her mind all the time. You need to be consistent in your values and ideas.
Self-branding is a strategic step you give in your personal and professional Life. It is focused on a major goal you have for your Life. This goal will direct all the decisions you will make. Your goal becomes your Life mission and people who have the same values, and objectives will identify themselves with you. As well, they will connect your image with other people, or topics, that carry the same essence.
Your Personal Branding is the entire experience people has when have a relationship with you. And it is your job to frame it, not theirs.
I made a research and it is interesting to see that only 15% of the people in leadership positions in North America have a personal brand. And just 5% really live according to it. However, 70% THINK they have a strong brand and 50% BELIEVE they are living it. When talking about something so untangible it is clear to see people misunderstand concepts and take for granted they instinctively know what they are doing, but that is not true, unfortunately. I know it is a long process and it can be very tricky to understand and even more to apply it. That`s why I decide to offer a full workshop about the building part of Personal Branding. People have been over-focused on the promotion side and just skipped the fundamentals. The infrastructure that will support your image. This is what the workshop Mirror is all about? Self-knowledge, strategy and self-design. If you want to participate, please click on the LINK HERE and submit your application. It is 100% FREE in times of #STAYHOME.