Personal branding is not about being someone you’re not. Quite the opposite, a personal brand simply amplifies more of who you already are but in a more intentional, aligned and consistent way. In this article I share seven signs you may need to develop a strong personal brand to help you stand out in a crowded and competitive marketplace.
Sometimes in life, business and work, we say and do things not congruent with our true selves – to fit in, to get along, to people please, to stay under the radar, to not rock the boat, to puff ourselves up, to bring ourselves down, among others. However, speaking and acting out of alignment with our true values and beliefs feels uncomfortable and is a disservice to self. Personal branding is about thinking, speaking and acting in alignment with your beliefs and values, consistently.
You know what you do and how you do it but you may not be clear on why you do it. In today’s purpose-driven world, people want to connect with brands that stand for more than just profits. Getting clear on your purpose – your ‘why’ – is essential to moving from invisible to influential.
Marketing guru Seth Godin said, ‘The key to success is to find a way to stand out – to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins.’ Building a strong personal brand helps you to stand out, by being more intentional and consistent about your market positioning and public presence.
If you’re having trouble attracting or connecting with your ideal client, it could be because people don’t understand or are confused about the problem you solve and the value you deliver. Getting crystal clear on your zone of genius and value proposition through personal branding will help you cut through the noise of a highly distracting marketplace and connect more effectively with potential buyers.
You know you’re great at what you do but you won’t have a business if no-one else knows. To get found means turning up in search results; to attract attention and spark interest means having a compelling brand presence, across platforms and in the boardroom.
Putting yourself out there, for example, by sharing your content online, can be daunting at first. However, when you get clear on your message, and develop a structure and cadence around sharing your thought leadership, you not only build your credibility and professional connections, you also build confidence and facilitate professional growth.
People build trust with other people when they have a sense of familiarity, understanding and security. If you’re not showing up, online or in person, with regularity and consistency, then people may describe you in different ways because the foundations of familiarity and understanding have not been laid. If you’re inconsistent with language, tone, presentation and content topics, people can be confused and unsure of what you’re about. Personal branding helps shape a more unified perception in the minds of others of who you are.
©Ros Weadman 2022
Ros Weadman, author of ‘Enhance Your Reputation – how to build a brand people want to work for, buy from and invest in’ (Global Business Publishing, $29.95), is a brand communication and reputation specialist who combines her professional expertise in strategic communications, psychology and education to help people and organisations build a purpose-driven brand and strong positive reputation.