Personal branding is by definition the process by which we market ourselves to others. Your personal brand is a powerful, clear, positive idea designed for the purpose of influencing how others perceive you, and turning that perception into an opportunity.
In other words, a personal brand is all about influence. It influences how the people in your target market perceive you. If you want to start shaping your personal brand, here are the best tips that are definitely going to help you get on the right track.
1. Start With “Why?”
From the very beginning start with defining why you are doing what you are doing. According to Simon Sinek, a NY Times bestseller, “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.” The concept is very similar to well-known “vision, mission and values” statements. By defining your personal why, how and what; you will be able to express and reflect your intentions much easier in everything you do.
2. Define Priorities in Your Personal and Professional Lives
Take a notebook or a piece of paper and write down your personal and professional goals, short and long term. List as many goals as possible to clear your mind, list even those that you think are unrealistic or unfeasible. After that try to group these goals into two groups: personal and professional, or life and career. Then try prioritizing these goals, you have to understand that the first goal is the most important and will take the most of your energy and time. These two groups of listed goals will allow you to focus on the most important things.
3. Get Interested in Other People
If you will be genuinely interested in other people’s lives, hobbies and their beliefs you will find out new things that will inspire you and make you a better person. Your personal brand will be perceived as more humane and welcoming by just asking “How are you? What you’ve been up to?” Taking a note for yourself will help you to remember things for the next meet up. In this way you will establish a closer relationship with any person you communicate with.
4. Understand where you can add value
The ability to be seen as new and original is one of the most important aspect of personal branding. If you fail to be seen as different, you will be seen as a follower; that makes capturing market share much more difficult. Try to develop your unique personal style creatively. Focus on those connections and knowledge that add value to your brand and communicate things that have something new to say so that you inspire people.
5. Dare to do something differently. Fail. Learn. Repeat.
Zig Ziglar once said “If you learn from defeat, you haven’t really lost”. If you really want to stand out from the crowd you have to do something different. By doing what others do you won’t stand out. The key to success is not to give up, learn from your mistakes and repeat the process until you become the best person you can be.
The famous saying that people make a decision about you within 30 seconds of a meeting means that projection and style are important. The best leaders will make an impactful first impression with an entirely authentic voice, and starting this process as a graduate or early in your career will work even more for your own benefit.