There’s no doubt that many of the things that influence you most in your daily life are brands.
All of your buying decisions can certainly be driven by brands. From mobile devices and computers, to clothes and shoes, cars and airlines – you’ve probably formed an opinion about all the ones that affect you.
But brands go much further than that; they also apply to people or personalities. From TV chefs such as Michel Roux, to businessmen like Richard Branson or Alan Sugar – you have an opinion formed on them due to brand personalities they individually project.
So when you think about it, you too can become a brand. With all the communication potentials we now have at our fingertips, you can project yourself throughout your chosen industry so that employers, contacts and movers and shakers, will form a positive opinion about you.
In such a way, being your own brand can improve your career prospects, promotions, raise your salary and even help you get headhunted.
So, here are our top five tips for going about it:
1- Develop a Point of Difference
Having a point of difference is at the heart of any brand – so you need to demonstrate what your point of difference is. Are you: clever, resourceful, successful, fun, reliable? What is at the ‘heart’ of your personal brand?
From a TV chef to an airline, a brand needs be different from the rest. Start with your own CV and see if it’s really offering a potential employer something different, or something special, and then go from there.
2- Be Consistent
From your CV to your Facebook page and all other activities such as LinkedIn and Twitter, make sure all your messages are consistent with who you are.
If potential industry people or employers are going to form an opinion about you – and value your brand – then being consistent about who you are, what your values are and what you stand for really helps. If you’re inconsistent and confused then everyone else will be confused too. Ask any PR person – sending out mixed messages won’t get you anywhere.
3- Spread the Word
Are you doing enough to create and develop your brand? There’s no doubt we all spend a lot of time online but perhaps you could be using the fantastic potential of the web to project your brand?
Post your CV and make it public, respond to industry issues online, write blogs that deal with industry issues or which project a point of view you may have. In effect become an editor over your own output.
4- Don’t Rush It
The biggest brands (and often the most successful people) didn’t become what they are overnight. It takes a little time and a little planning. Thinking about who you are and what you stand for is the first step, but getting your personal brand moving in the right direction should be a constant drip feed rather than a big burst of activity.
Obviously when you get more confidence you can up your output, but starting slowly means you can ‘feel’ your way forward and see what’s working.
5- Keep it Believable
Whether you want to get into IT, the financial industry, marketing, law, music or even show business, you need to keep your personal brand credible. Nobody will take you seriously if you project wild ideas and if you say things which don’t ring true. People believe in brands, and they’ll believe in yours if they can trust you.
Spend a little time on who you are and what you want to achieve and you can go a long way to achieving the career heights that you inspire to.