One important thing for every professional to care about is their own personal brand. You might be familiar with the brand of your company, your favourite clothing, car, technology or food product; but what about your own brand: Brand ‘Me’?
We are all living, breathing endorsements for other brands. Look down: is the brand of your shoes, clothing, jewellery etc. distinguishable? If yes, knowingly or not, you are endorsing that brand. If no, maybe your coffee cup symbolises where you like to frequent, or maybe it’s the computer/devise that you are using to read this article? No matter what we do in our daily lives, we can’t help but be inundated by brands; and have our favourites, those that we happily advocate for.
Let’s say you’re a Nike-wearing, Apple-loving, Keep Cup-carrying individual. Chances are you have selected these brands because they make you feel good: they represent who you are and what you want your image to be. Already, this is starting to form your own personal brand. Given that, to some degree, we already express the beginnings of a personal brand, why not take it into active consideration?
Regardless of what people might say, looks matter and first impressions count. If you’re meeting someone for the first time (or even the 100th time) and you look sloppy, that image is going to stay with them. Likewise, if you present yourself in the manner that you want to exhibit, that will also stick with the person that you are meeting.
A personal brand can be as simple or as outrageous as you like, as long as it is an accurate representation of who you are. Maybe you’re the sort of person who always wears sharp clothing paired with funny socks. Or maybe you’re the relaxed jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt type. Whatever it is, however you feel comfortable, just go with it. The most important thing here is consistency. If people are going to recognise your brand, you need to have consistency.
Your personal brand doesn’t end at image, it is also how you speak, interact with others and the knowledge that you have and exhibit. Just think: is there something that everyone at work knows you for? Maybe you always give excellent advice, or are willing to help others. Maybe you make a mean chocolate brownie, or consistently provide great office entertainment? This is your personal brand.
If you can’t think of anything that you are known for, think about what you would like to be known for. What will make you stand out? Use this as a starting point and work out your personal brand from here. It might seem difficult, but concentrating on branding is how the most successful companies (like Nike and Apple) have achieved their success. To do the same for yourself, just think like the Brand Managers of these large companies. Ask yourself, “What is my unique selling proposition? What makes me different” (what do I want to be known for?).
Once you have identified what it is that makes you stand out from the crowd, all you need to do is build you brand around it. If it is something that comes naturally, makes you comfortable and that you can easily relate to, then it should be a relatively easy process. Just remember, as with company branding, consistency is key.
For more information on personal branding or company branding, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.
Clarissa is a Marketing Manager at Sierra Marketing. Her passion for marketing lies within consumer behaviour, social media and branding. As Marketing Manager, Clarissa works across all Sierra’s clients and enjoys experiencing the vast array of tasks and industries that this involves.