Introduction to Personal Brand Strategy
Most professionals think that creating a personal brand strategy is something beyond their reach. Actually, building a personal brand strategy is a daily choice that you make in your professional life. The way you talk, the way you walk, and the way you carry yourself say a lot about yourself. But the thing is, most people don’t want to change their daily habits because they are comfortable now.
Do you think anything can be done without using it first? if you want to build your personal brand strategy, the only thing you need to care about is how you behave in your workplace. In this article, we will see about different ways to build your personal brand strategy; they are not new, but they work. But there is only one condition. The only condition is you need to work on them.
First things first-Personal Brand Strategy:
Before we get to the point, let’s talk about branding. Branding is a symbol, a sign, or a name that depicts a person or a thing or a group in simple terms. You don’t need to use a lot of phrases and pictures or anything. A simple sign or symbol will do.
Why people use branding as a tool to improve their marketing is because branding has the ability to trigger emotions, values, principles in people when they look at or hear about the brand.
For example, if you consider yourself a personal brand strategy, anything you do or don’t would spur emotions and reactions in other people. It’s just like creating a lasting impression on people through your own demeanor.
3 Types of Effective Personal Brand Strategy
Now there are three types of personal brand strategy. It’s not given by any guru or any significant other. Rather we have observed professionals and companies and how they create their brands, and from that data, we come to a conclusion that most of the brands come under these three broad categories.
1. Positive personal brand strategy
This is the most attractive personal brand strategy. People create this brand by giving a message or series of messages to people who listen. And they also promote their virtues and good values through positive branding. But creating a positive personal brand strategy takes time. If you think you would make a positive personal brand strategy in a day, you are not getting the meaning of the personal brand strategy. Remember, people don’t get attracted by one positive action, but a series of relentless actions attract them toward you.
2. Negative personal brand strategy
Now no personal brand wants this. People hate this type of person or personal brand. If you observe closely, you will see that there are few people who are not liked by anyone; rather, they’re hated by most of the people. Have you ever wondered why so? It’s because they keep on repeating actions that are not congruent with the culture of the company, and thus they’re not accepted by others as a valuable personal brand.
3. Neutral personal brand strategy
These people are neutral. If you ask about them from their colleagues, they would say they know these neutral people. But there’s nothing significant about them. This is the worst of all three. Being there and not making any impact is not a good thing for your professional life.
Now, as we have understood the bits and pieces of personal branding, let’s look at why you should create a personal brand that helps you stand out in the crowd.
The Why Scenario
If you want us to depict personal brand in one word, we would say – association. No matter what the personal brand is all about, if it has created a negative association in your mind, you will think negatively about the brand and vice versa.
So if you want to grow in your career, you need to understand the value of your personal brand. And once you understand the value, you can mold it and make it as you want it to be.
In business, they call it environment scanning before going for any venture. Here before applying the tips we are here to give you, you need to do some scanning about your already established personal brand. Yes, you may say that you don’t have a personal brand as of now. But you have if you pay to heed.
The best way to know about your personal brand is to ask for feedback from your colleagues whom you trust. Ask them to close their eyes and imagine ‘you.’ What word, phrase or picture do they have when they think about you? Ask them to be honest with you as you want to improve yourself according to their feedback. All of them may not say the truth. But some of them may. From their feedback, you would understand the value of personal branding and how they associate you with different phrases, words, and pictures. And that association triggers them about you.
After this experiment, don’t just think badly about yourself (if they are negative); rather, observe yourself when you’re in a professional setting. What do you say? How do you act? How do you behave? And also, notice the behavior of the people around you. How do they respond to your actions, words, and demeanor? Soon you will get it where you stand and from that point, begin to apply the following tips we’re offering you.
How-to Guide to Build your Personal Brand Strategy?
You would agree that there’s no all-size-fit formula for creating a personal brand. But we will give you some tricks which you can customize and make your own according to your choice and preference.
1. Be your authentic self
This is old and sage advice. Suppose you’re like most people; you will ignore it like them. But you shouldn’t if you’re sincere about building your personal brand. Oscar Wild said – “Be you. Everyone else is already taken.” Find your true self. Ask yourself what turns you on? What turns you off? What do you like to do? What do you like to have? If you can have a magic wand at your disposal, what would you ask by waving it? If you have just 3 months to live on earth, what would you do? Who will be your priorities? What work do you want to finish up before you die? Now, these questions are all hypothetical, and they may not mean much to you. Knowing yourself fully is not always possible. But you can get to know yourself partially by asking yourself these questions. The first thing is not to act as if you’re a different person. You should be true to yourself and act from the truth, every time, all the time.
2. Don’t do anything to get the approval of people
Are you a people-pleaser? Do you do things to get the approval of others? If you’re one of those, then you should forget about making your personal brand. Why? If you’re already selling yourself short and going according to the whims of others, why people should pay heed to you? If you want to create a positive personal brand, here’s what you should do.
Stop pleasing people and start pleasing yourself. You’re not born or not hired to accept sub-employment under people. You’re in your career to do your job, to add value, to make your mark, and to make a difference. Even if people demand or command you to do something, be firm in your dealings. Set rules for yourself which you will never break. For example, you can set a rule of never coming to the office late and never staying in the office more than the stipulated time. People may expect you to stay and work. But if you think that this rule serves you better and you are able to complete all your work during office hours, don’t stay back to do the work of others.
3. Maintain a great work ethic
You would be able to create a great personal brand if you do just this. Maintain a great work ethic. It means coming to work on time, submitting projects before the deadline, following direct communication with clients and colleagues, maintaining the transparency of what you do with your boss, and most importantly, never compromising on the quality of your work.
If you can practice this for a long time, you don’t need to do much. If you don’t have a great work ethic now, pick one habit which is most critical and practice it with all your heart. Once you’re satisfied and confident that the critical habit has become your second nature, pick the next one and do the same. This will help you to create an impression on people who are responsible for either promoting you or demoting you.
4. Keep your promises
No, all promises can’t be kept. Thus keep your promise list small. So small that you never forget to keep your promise. The best way to do that is to keep your mouth shut most of the time. Don’t commit or promise until you know in your heart that you can do it with certainty. Jim Rohn said it best – “Don’t allow your tongue to increase the burden of your shoulder.” If you keep your list of promises small, you will always be able to keep your promises, and that will make a huge difference.
5. Don’t talk bad behind anyone’s back
If you are sincere about building your personal brand strategy, then gulp your words into your throat. You can’t afford to speak badly about others when you want to build a personal brand strategy for yourself. But if you’re habituated, it would be difficult to pare it down. What to do? Replace with another habit. Instead of talking bad about anyone, talk good about people behind their back. You don’t need to tell a lie. Just think carefully about what is the one thing you like about that person and talk about it behind their back. It will help you build your brand.
6. Don’t be casual in your dressing and personal appearance
It’s of utter importance. You can’t afford to look gloomy and ugly. If you don’t take care of yourself, how would you impact others with your personal brand strategy? You don’t need to buy extra shirts and trousers. Simply buy 4-5 formal shirts and trousers, iron them well and use them every day. You don’t need to pay much for looking good. Only you need to be aware of how it impacts other professionals, colleagues, your boss, and other people around you.
7. Work on your virtues
Everything affects everything. If you work on your character instead of trying to be charismatic, it will help you more. Personal branding strategy is never about only charisma; rather, it’s about character. People don’t look up to you just for charisma; they do because you have character. The best way to judge your character is how you respond to the crisis situation. Notice your behaviors, your responses, and how you handle other people. And then work on your behaviors and find out why you behave in such a way. What scares you? What is missing out?
8. Help everyone around
You cannot possibly help everyone. But a simple habit of helping everyone uplifts your personal brand plan and helps you become a better professional. Carry a notebook with you and whenever anyone is facing any issue in your office, write it down in your notebook. In your spare time, work on the issue. If you get a solution, offer help. You will see that in this way, you will become an indispensable professional along the way. And your personal brand plan will become an example for everyone to follow.
9. Write your mission statement and act accordingly
This is the best thing you can do if you want to build your personal brand plan. Write down 2-5 keywords that describe you best and act accordingly. This is offered by Guy Kawasaki, and he said that a big mission statement often hinders our ability to act on the things that matter most. Clear the fog. Write down 2-5 keywords that describe you best, and then make an action plan which will help you build your personal brand plan.
Building your personal brand plan is a long-term process. If you’re looking for any quick fixes, then you better try to do it in other areas, but not this one. Every day you make a choice to build your positive personal brand plan or to destroy it with silly mistakes. Now mistakes are natural as human beings. So, learn, apply, make mistakes, course correct and try again. This is the way to build your personal brand plan.
This is a guide to the Personal Brand Strategy. Here we discuss the introduction and 3 types of effective personal brand strategy. You may look at the following articles to learn more –