Personal brand is something we generally tend to associate with celebrities, industry leaders, politicians or people who live their lives in the spotlight.
However what’s easy to forget is that in fact every single person has a personal brand—regardless of whether you’re famous or not. The key difference is that people who operate in the spotlight tend to be far more conscious of how they are building their own brand.
While you may not deem your ‘brand’ important, the reality is that taking control of your personal brand may mean the difference between an unfulfilling job and a rewarding career.
So now you know you’ve already got a personal brand, the question is—is the brand you have, the one you need?
In this article, we’ll outline three simple steps for determining what your brand is, what you want your brand to be and rebranding yourself.
STEP ONE: Understanding the brand you’ve built
There’s a big difference between your own perception of yourself and the reality other people experience. While you may think of yourself as a hardworking and loyal person, are you sure this is what other people think about you?
In order to more consciously build your personal brand, it’s essential to first become aware of the brand you have already created.
The easiest way to do this is to ask yourself the question: What do you think people say about you when you’re not in the room?
Be as honest as possible with yourself here, and if you get stuck, you could always ask an honest friend or leader for some feedback…however brace yourself, you might not always like what you hear.
STEP TWO: Decide what you want your personal brand to be
Before you can go about ‘rebranding’ yourself, take some time to decide what you want that brand to be. In order to do this, ask yourself these three questions:
- What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room?
- What qualities do you respect in other people that you would want to emulate?
- What brand do you need in order to get to where you want to be in your life and career?
The answers to these three questions will be a strong starting point for you to begin consciously rebuilding your brand.
STEP THREE: Change your behaviour to amplify your new brand
Now you have a clearer idea of what your personal brand is, and what you want your brand to be, it’s time to start aligning the two.
The key to changing your personal brand is changing your behaviour, as this is how people build their perception of you. For example, you might think of yourself as a reliable person, but if you are consistently running late, or missing deadlines, chances are people around you will think you’re unreliable.
Start by thinking about some of the old behaviours you’ve exhibited that have created your personal brand, and then determine what you need to replace these behaviours with.
If people think of you as being a negative or overly cynical person because you constantly point out problems, instead start offering solutions to problems and ideas, responding more positively to others’ suggestions, and talking about all the ways you could help make something work (as opposed to why it won’t work).
It’s important to remember here that if you have identified that your personal brand is vastly different to the brand you have unknowingly built, this change won’t happen overnight.
It can take less than five minutes for someone to make a judgment of you, yet it can take weeks (if not months) to change it. So be prepared to be patient and commit to a long ‘rebranding’ process.
Ultimately, your personal brand is one of the most important ingredients in your overall success and happiness in life, and you’ve already got one. The onus is on you to ensure you’re consciously creating the brand you want.
For more guidance on building your personal brand, have a read of this article: ‘We all have a personal brand: do you know yours?‘