Branding is an incredibly powerful tool great companies and products use to differentiate their offerings from others. The same is true when it comes to personal branding, the process of establishing & consistently reinforcing who you are and what you stand for. What’s interesting is that the same characteristics that make brands great also make personal brands great.
So what does it take to have a great personal brand that people talk about, support, and love? It starts with being BRAVE . . . Be Bold, Remembered, Authentic, Visible, and Excellent.
1) Be Bold
I’m not talking about using bright colours and flashy fonts. I’m talking about unabashedly standing up for what you believe. Staying unapologetically rooted and grounded in your mission & cause. Sometimes, this means ignoring some of the critiques who don’t get you. Sometimes, this means breaking away from convention and doing what you feel deeply is right for you and your cause. When you boldly stand for something, you may alienate certain people, but it also allows you to stand out in ways you simply can’t when you’re just trying to fit into a mold or follow the “rules” of what others expect. Is there some aspect of yourself you’ve been hiding or feeling embarrassed to express? What might change if you gave yourself permission to say what you really think or feel?
2) Be Remembered
The best brands out there are good at leaving you with a key takeaway, one thing they want you to remember about their brand. This can come in the form of advertising straplines. Think -M&M’s “Melt In Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands,” Maybelline- “Because You’re Worth it,” or Red Bull “Gives you Wings.” However, being memorable can extend beyond words into experiences or emotional impact. For example, experiencing the magic of Disney World, or feeling energised after attending a concert. What’s one thing you want to be known? Identify it, live it, and amplify it across everything you do.
3) Be Authentic
People can normally sniff right through someone who’s trying to be someone they’re not. When it comes to personal branding, it’s so important to be you. Your unique personality and worldview is what makes you feel real to others. And I don’t know about you, but I really value people who are honest, straightforward, and clear about who they are and who they’re not. Being authentic is also about giving people reasons to believe that what you’re saying is indeed true. Give yourself permission to be who you are. Oscar Wilde said it best: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.’ If you were to truly be yourself in your next project or gig, how would you show up? What’s one small tweak you could make in your approach?
4) Be Visible
The best brands in the world are visible. Apple is a great example of this because it shows up everywhere! It’s hard NOT to think about Apple when it appears in 30% of the Hollywood blockbuster movies. Creating your personal brand is only half the battle. You need to then market it, live it, and express it in everything you do. This means putting yourself out there and driving awareness and visibility for the things for which you want to be known. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, a speaker or a writer, the great news is that these days, social media has democratised marketing, making it a lot easier for all of us to get our ideas out there, to make our voices heard. What is one outlet you could use to express your thoughts and ideas more publicly? What could you begin sharing or saying?
5) Be Excellent
Great brands are excellent at what they do, how they serve, and the products they create. The best brands out there are great at identifying their strengths and playing to them. And a lot of research shows individual excellence is truly only achieved when you’re playing to your own strengths. It starts with being selective. Being selective about the people you serve allows you to address their needs more directly & effectively. Try to identify an audience struggling with a very specific challenge who could benefit from someone who has your specific strengths or experiences. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be incredibly amazing to someone! What is one strength you’ve always possessed, a strength others have noticed in you? Are there ways you can more deeply leverage this strength in your work & life?
So be brave. Be exactly who you are and no one else. Be bold, memorable, authentic, visible, and excellent in everything you do, and soon, you’ll have a clear personal brand that allows you to stand out and make the most of what you can offer this world.
Learn how to build a strong personal brand
If you want to learn more principles about how to build a strong personal brand, join my course on “Building a Strong Personal Brand to Land Your Next Dream Role.” In the course, you’ll learn:
- Powerful principles of branding
- A simple branding framework to build your own unique personal brand
- How to create a focused summary of your professional strengths
- Ways to reinforce your personal brand in your social media profiles and job hunting.
I offer this course at a special price to my website visitors, giving you lifetime access to the course for $149 (25% off regular $200). Preview the course and join today if you want to learn how to build your professional reputation and stand out to land your next dream role.
Did you enjoy this article?
Get my future articles on career change and personal branding sent straight to your inbox. You’ll also receive access to my Career & Personal Branding Resource Hub after you register. Also, to hear directly from people who have successfully reinvented their careers, tune into my Career Relaunch podcast for even more inspiration.