Written on the 12 March 2011 by Rachel Quilty, Personal Brand Strategist, Author and Speaker
What is Personal Branding?
What is a Brand?
A brand is the character of a thing or person as perceived by the public. Brand is also defined as ‘to impress indelibly’. A brand is a kind or variety of something that is distinguished by one or more distinctive characteristics.
What is Personal Branding?
Personal branding applies traditional branding concepts to the individual.
Wikipedia® advises us that, ‘Personal branding is the process whereby people and their careers are marked as brands. The personal branding concept suggests that success comes from self-packaging.
Further defined as the creation of an asset that pertains to a particular person or individual; this includes but is not limited to the body, clothing, appearance and knowledge contained within, leading to an indelible impression that is uniquely distinguishable.’
Tom Peters provides that ‘Branding means nothing more (and nothing less) than creating a distinct personality ... and telling the world about it.’ While Peter Montoya adds, ‘Personal branding is the process that takes your skills, personality and unique characteristics and packages them into a powerful identity that lifts you above the crowd of anonymous competitors.’
Dan Schawbel’s book, Web 2.0, provides a more extensive definition of what is personal branding. His collaborators define, personal branding as ‘the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition, whether professional or personal, then leverage it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal. In this way, individuals can enhance their recognition as experts in their field, establish a reputation and credibility, advance their careers and build self confidence.’
What does all that mean to you ?
Personal branding is really about how we market ourselves to others.
Personal branding is about promoting what is true and unique about you and letting everyone know about it. As a brand, you are your own free agent – you have the freedom to create the career or business path that links your talents and interests with the right purpose and position.
‘Personal branding is about promoting what is true and unique about you and letting your target audience know about it.’
As an individual, you must acknowledge that you are a brand. And who better to market your personal brand than you? This means that at the end of the day, the success of your personal brand lies in your hands.
A compelling personal brand is one which:
• has an easy identifiable personal identity
• it stimulates a positive emotional response
• it embodies specific desired values or qualities
The goal in designing our personal brand is to discover the strongest and most appealing aspect of our character and then promoting that part of us until we become an embodiment of that trait.
We saw the successful transition of this with Oprah Winfrey’s television program. Although rating well during an era of sensational, provocative and obscure topics, Oprah decided to launch a new brand of show. For the past decade, the Oprah show has educated the world on personal responsibility and encouraged personal growth.
Oprah is now the Queen of Personal Responsibility. She has regularly apologized to audiences, taken personal responsibility for book selections and incidents within her organizations, as well as admitted some very personal information in an effort to maintain her integrity with her audience.
This has allowed Oprah to personify her personal brand and remain true to her values. She truly embodies the principle of taking personal responsibility for your choices.
Our personal brand should never be expressed in terms of our profession, trade or craft. This is because our personal brand far transcends what we do for a living. Our profession just happens to be the forum in which our personal brand is expressed.
Let’s briefly go through some branding fundamentals.
The two major elements for measuring and building your brand are:
1. Your Personal Brand Identity: brand name, brand associations, messages, image, environment, symbolism
2. Your Personal Brand Name Awareness: exists in the minds and hearts of your customers, employees, and suppliers
A good personal brand:
• gives a good first impression
• is easy to remember
• evokes positive associations
The purpose of a brand is to:
• differentiate yourself, and
• achieve your desired results
Your personal brand is the result of a combination of impressions held about your name, expertise and professional image.
These impressions are derived from factors including:
• physical appearance such as logo, colors, office, attire and vehicles
• your attitudes, beliefs and values and how these are reflected in your performance, actions and activities, and
• how you express yourself to your clients, market and community
For success you must manage your total brand. This broadly comprises your performance, presentation, attitude, communication skills and reputation. These are the vital areas of your ‘brand’ from which we are all judged.
You cannot always control your brand completely because your personal brand is based on the perceptions of others such as clients or potential clients, but you can control your personal brand identity.
Brand identity is basically the look, feel and performance of the brand. These are within your control. However, how people perceive them is not always in your control.
It is often said, ‘If you look good, your product will be good, your prices will be good and your client service will be good.’ ‘In a sense your brand is your destiny, and by controlling your brand you have taken a big step in controlling your destiny.’
Brand Yourself! And Jump the Q! Your personal brand should reflect your abilities and potential. Rachel Quilty, Personal Brand Strategist, known as ‘the Authority’ on personal branding and author of must- have book ‘Brand Yourself’. Rachel encourages Jump the Q clients to think strategically when developing a personal brand to get that job offer, gain that promotion or win that client.
Jump the Q assists you to strategically and systematically leverage your professional profile and build your personal brand to become the authority in your industry. Get your free personal branding tactics and tips at http://www.brandyourselfblueprint.com
We assist you to develop your Personal Brand Strategy by:
- Discovering your purpose.
- Designing your best personal brand.
- Devising a personal marketing plan.
- Developing your Signature Brand.
Brand Yourself! and Jump the Q! http://www.JumptheQ.com.au FREE strategic style tips to build your Personal Brand and Develop your Signature Style www.brandyourselfblueprint.com. Your brand should reflect your abilities and potential. With our Personal Branding Action Plan and Strategic Style sessions -brand yourself for success. Get your FREE Strategic Q Style Tips today!
Improving your brand is an investment in building your personal profile, reputation and the results you will achieve.
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