What is it about Oprah, Michelle Obama, Kate Middleton, Beyonce, Martha Stewart and Jennifer Lopez that makes them stand out as unique human beings and household names right around the world? The power of personal branding; is what. Branding yourself in the business arena is not just a competitive advantage but a necessity to compete and differentiate yourself from others.
Major Fortune 500 companies hire brand strategists, marketing consultants and research professionals to help them build, maintain and monitor their brand image. That’s how important branding is. Influential people, people who command your attention every day, like the celebrities mentioned above, employ similar tactics to make sure you continue to admire, listen and buy from them.
Whether you are a professional on the rise, a corporate executive, a creative, or an entrepreneur building a business, when you are interacting with other people in a professional context, you better believe, you too, are a brand.
What does that mean? It means you need to manage your image and make sure it is aligned with your professional goals. It means that your image is communicating important messages about you and what you stand for. Your image, which is your most obvious business card, is a critical marketing tool and when you examine your appearance from that vantage point, it’ll make you more mindful of your brand presence.
Don’t get me wrong – putting your personal brand on show doesn’t mean ‘showing off’; consider personalities like Oprah, Kate, Michelle, and Martha if you’ve never thought of yourself as a brand before, and think about how they constantly put their personal brand on display without the slightest hint they are doing so. There is a strategy at work even when it comes to something seemingly as straightforward as getting dressed for the day. You think Kate Middleton does not consider a variety of factors before deciding what to wear to a particular event, occasion or meeting? She has to! Whether she does it herself or hires someone to do it for her.
Make a mental list of the qualities you admire about your favorite personality and then work those qualities into your personal brand in your own individual way. Remember, YOU have complete control about how you are perceived. You can train people to think about you the way you want them to think, by projecting the image of your choosing. Think carefully about whether your personal brand is memorable, credible, relevant, authentic and consistent. These are the measures you can use to see how effective your brand is. Reinforce your strengths in every area—these will be your natural points of differentiation.
Your personal brand can be your secret weapon as you groom yourself to be the consummate business professional. As you grow and evolve so will your personal brand, based on the solid foundations you’ve built at the start of your journey. Craft, refine and tweak it often as you come into your own. Once you feel comfortable with your personal brand, use every opportunity that comes your way to reinforce its message. Remember that every person you interact with presents a fresh opportunity for you to put your personal brand on show. Showcase it, and you, in the best light possible!
Remember Presence with a Purpose!
As always, make sure your Presence is Purposeful! www.ElanImageManagement.com