In my previous column, we spoke about why it’s important to build and sustain your brand persona and put your work out there.
In this one we will go one step ahead and understand the benefits of doing so and what we should do to build a strong impression both in the real and virtual worlds.
Brand building is a journey and as you embark on it, it’s important to understand where you stand and what is your current context. 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.
Network and reputation are also concepts that tie in to personal branding and it’s good to understand them and how to get them to work for you.
It’s good to build a network and invest in reputation as they yield long term results.
“Reputation is a by-product of work. You can work on your skills. But you can’t work on a reputation.”
– Darius Foroux – Entrepreneur, Author and Podcaster.
A reputation is nothing more than the perception that other people have of you, which you have no direct control over, and you can only influence it by two things – doing great work and treating people well. There are quite a few benefits of personal branding, including:
- Your online visibility increases
- Your network can be leveraged better
- You’ll become more identifiable in person
- Your business will become stronger
- You can leverage your brand to build partnerships
- Your online relationships will flourish
- You never know what might happen
- You’ll build confidence
- You control your brand image
- Your credibility will grow
- Achieving goals is easier
Now that we have this established, let’s set some context …
- If you have a digital footprint, your personal brand already exists. It is not what you have consciously created for yourself. Your opinions, your posts, your pieces of writing, all of them have a factor of your personality in them and people who read it, have access to aspects of it which is revealed to them as they consume this information
- It’s all about the content you create and curate and put out there and that becomes the defining points of brand you.
- If you don’t have control over the content and are not consciously building it, people will form their own opinions of the fragments that you have left out there.
- But if you invest in it and take over and drive it in a direction you want, you get control over setting the context and narratives for your audience to consume and you can be the spokesperson of you.
- It’s important to remember to be authentic through it all as anything that is flaky, or fake does not catch on too well and you risk your reputation.
- It’s about showcasing yourself in the best light and ensuring you utilise the space and narratives as a means to achieve your goals. At this stage it’s good to have all of this to think of and prep for the journey.
In my next column, I will take you on the journey of investing and building in yourself as a brand and how to go about it, with humility and authenticity …