Branding and Making it Personal

Do you have any idea what your company spends on its branding?  A Common rule of thumb is between 2 and 10% of their revenue.  Whole departments are developed for branding and it’s considered to be a critical part of the business – ensuring they attract the right customer.

What Is Personal Branding?

If we know that company branding is about attracting the right customers, what is our personal branding – should we have one, can we make one, and can it be authentic and honest?  Originally coming to the fore in 1999 in ‘Be Your Own Brand” it has continued to grow as a concept.

Do we understand what it is?

When asked what it is, you might reply….

  • How you show up visually
  • How you present yourself online
  • How you communicate at work and personally
  • Your work and personal life reputation

You’d be right on all of these to a degree, but it’s not one of them but all of them and more. According to those considered to first coin the phrase David McNally and Karl Speak wrote in 1999: “Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you.”

It is invisible but powerful when used strategically to advance careers, become an authority in your industry, differentiate from the competition, and widen the circle of influence that you have.  In the modern era, we are all effectively ‘self-employed’ and our brand is increasingly important for our development and progression.

It is the intrinsic connection of who you are as a person. And according to Jeff Bezos it is  ‘….what other people say about you when you’re not in the room” – on that basis alone we ought to be paying it attention.

How can it be authentic?

The word authentic is now attached to everything you can think of – a google search will throw up any number of authentic ‘brands’, from pizzas, marketing solutions, TV shows, and jeans.  

But with your personal brand ‘authentic’ reverts to its truest description – ‘genuine and original’.  

Developing an authentic personal brand is not about creating a persona – or copycat impression.  It is about understanding your passions, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Authenticity is key to its power.  Those without authenticity are busted and quickly seen as fake.

Why does it matter

A personal authentic brand allows you to be the truest version of yourself.  

  • It makes you memorable, natural, consistent, and trustworthy
  • It gives you purpose and drives your vision
  • It transforms you into a people magnet, for others to align their values with.

How do you identify your personal brand?

You’ve heard the phrase ‘be yourself, everyone else is taken’.  Copying someone else is the opposite of finding yourself.

The most important thing you need is self-reflection time.

Think about:

Your Values –what do you stand for now? How are these reflected in what you do?  What do you aspire to stand for and how can you develop these values in your behaviour?

Your Passions – what gives you energy? Asking yourself questions such as, what is your favourite place? or what would you do if money was no object? This gives you a chance to look at what inspires you.  You’re looking to evoke passion and interest in yourself – self-motivation is key.

Your Personality – what is the consistent mood, quality, and character that you bring to the room?  What do people say of your personality?

Your Unique Selling Point – what makes you special and different? What is it about you that sets you apart from others?

Only then can you begin to develop your Personal Brand.

What is personal branding chalkboard image

You’re not alone

If you need help looking at your personal brand, why not book a 1-2-1 session which might be just the support you need?  Together we will look at the values, skills, and passions that you currently show, and create your own framework with brand pillars to give you purpose and drive your vision.