Maybe you’ve never felt the need to sit down and think through what kind of personal brand you would like others to associate with you. Or you don’t like putting labels on yourself or others, so coming up with a personal brand just isn’t for you. It could be that you think it wouldn’t be a good use of your time to define, hone and plan out your personal brand because your brand is already so obvious to everyone.
If any of those scenarios fit you, let me point out a possible blind spot. Everybody has a personal brand, even if they didn’t come up with it on their own. Based on your interactions with others, those people have decided for themselves what your brand is. And they’re spreading it around to everyone you know.
One of the key points in my new book, Sell Yourself: How to Create, Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand, is that all of us have a brand, whether we know what it is or not. And I truly believe It’s better to create a brand for yourself rather than leaving it up to others because you might not like what they come up with for you.
The misperception that you’re the only one who can create a personal brand for you is, unfortunately, pretty rampant. Sell Yourself tells the story of an up-and-coming marketing assistant who figured his talent spoke for itself. In fact, it did; everyone could agree he is smart and creative. Guess what else spoke for itself? His bad attitude about doing “assistant” work because he thought he was above it, even though it was his job. In fact, it prevented him from getting promoted to an account manager position.
If this guy had taken some time to figure out how he wanted others to see him—instead of assuming that they already saw him in the most positive light—he would have identified his attitude as an opportunity for growth in his brand. And he would have had a chance to change his behavior, his demeanor and his comments so that others saw him the way he wanted them to: as talented and creative.
Another misperception that many share—and that is addressed in Sell Yourself—is that it’s not enough to slap a label on yourself and call that your brand. The marketing assistant, for example, could create a personal brand of “creative idea guy.” He could post those brand words on his social media accounts.
But words alone do not make a brand.
In fact, creating a solid plan is the first step to creating a brand. The second step is to live your brand consistently. The third step is to sell your brand; that is, to use your personal brand to sell yourself
Create. Live. Sell. That’s how you get a powerful personal brand. I hope you’ll consider learning more about this process in Sell Yourself.