All of us work with brands, all of us have brands that we love and are loyal to. You connect with brands, have experiences of them, you build perspectives of them. So, when you hear the names of brands you know, it conjures up an image in your mind – a design, a symbol, a jingle, a sign, a word or string of words or a combination of some or all these elements. This image is unique and sets the brand apart from its competition.
I can think of so many familiar elements of brands from automobiles to apparel that I identify with and relate to as a brand. This brings me to the context of brands and identities.
The process of building this unique identity is branding and a lot of us work with brands very closely in curating their unique narratives in some form.
The words ‘personal branding’ doesn’t entirely resonate with me in the structure, form and ideology that they are construed in. The context of personal branding comes in when people begin to market themselves and their careers.
You use personal branding to establish a personality, a prescribed image or an impression and build a mindshare. Peers, industry, workplaces and communities recognise you for who you are basis the persona you have built for the world to see and identify.
“Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your “blind” date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.” said Tim Ferriss, Author.
In context of personal branding, it’s also not so much about focusing on a brand building exercise, as much as it is showcasing your work and your overall persona to the outside world that would encounter you for multiple interactions. The minute you put yourself out there and have an online or digital presence, your personal brand is already present. So, taking ownership of this truly empowers you to drive the content and context in a way that is meaningful to you.
It’s important to focus on building a personal brand because it is good to know how you share your voice with the world and it also establishes credibility. It also helps create a strong network and creates job security in an unpredictable market. Network and reputation are also concepts that tie in to personal branding. Network is who you know, and Reputation is what others know you for. It’s good to build a network and invest in reputation as they yield long term results.
It’s good to consider where you stand in context of your reputation by assessing what people know about you, how do they feel, what do they think and say about you. It’s also good to know why and what we want out of investing in our reputation. It could be a range of reasons including attention, respect, work, business, money and trust.
So, in summary, here’s some reasons why we should invest in building out our personas for the outer world and circles,
- Love what you do? Put your work out there, it gives you joy and helps you share
- You build an audience that consumes what you put out and then you build a connect with them
- It adds a sense of credibility and authenticity to the perception of you and who you are
- It helps you look within and keeps you learning and building yourself up
- It helps you tap into opportunities
- It builds a strong narrative of your uniqueness in favour of you and empowers you to tell your own story
- It’s easier for people to find you
- It helps you grow your network
So, if you haven’t started working on it, think about it and get ready. In the next few parts of this piece, I will try and share some of my experiences and learning in this area, which will help you find a way to make it happen and make it work for you too.