Your personal brand is all about what you do, how you do it and why you do it. So, don’t fake it. Here are few great steps to help you create your personal brand.
Most people know about company branding, and in fact, business execs spend an inordinate amount of time making sure that their company brand projects the right sort of attitude and reputation. But you also need your own personal brand, especially in the workplace and in your industry.
Your personal brand is like your shortcut identity in high school: like the jock, the nerd, the cheerleader, the tough guy, the musician, the artist, and the class clown. In the adult world, you will also need to cultivate your own personal brand and identity to help promote your advancement.
Your personal brand reflects who you are and who you want to be. It’s all about you’re your motivations, your principles, and your goals. All these are projected by how you dress and act in interviews, in the office, and in social media. You must know what your personal brand is and the reasons why it makes you unique, so you can use it to advance and achieve your goals.
So how do you do it? Here are a few ways that many business leaders have done it:
Clarify Your Core Values
You must know for sure what you really care about and stand for. These things are your core values, and they basically define who you really are. You have to know what these values are so that you can actually go about and project them to the people around you. If you don’t know what your core values are, then you can never be certain that you’re projecting them properly.
To figure out your core values, here’s a simple trick. Start by writing down 10 values that you most hold dear. It can be your honesty, integrity, your penchant for hard work, your love of knowledge, or your courage. Begin the list with 10 values, but then later you need to cut that down to 5 core values.
You can ask yourself this key question to help you out: How much would it hurt you if people didn’t believe something about you. Would it hurt if they didn’t think you were smart, honest, hard-working, or brave? If you’re okay with people not believing that you’re hard-working, then industriousness isn’t really one of your core values. But if it makes you feel ashamed to the very marrow of your bones if people think you’re a coward, then courage is absolutely one of your core values.
Then you can help yourself remember those core values by remembering a motto or a saying about them. You can also keep in mind a person who embodies those ideals. For some people, it can even be the lyrics of a song.
Set Aside a Time for Reflection
Most people spend all their time working, hanging out with friends, bingeing on entertainment media, or sleeping. Hardly anyone sets aside a bit of time to just pause and reflect on themselves. If you do want to solidify your understanding of the core values that make up your personal brand, then you need a block of time for self-reflection.
What you need to do is to set up a “meeting”, except that it’s a meeting with just yourself. It doesn’t have to be done all that frequently. Even once a month can work wonders.
During this time, you have several key goals in the agenda for the meeting. You need to ponder exactly what steps you’re taking to live up to the values that you supposedly hold dear. You need to assess your goals in your career and personal life, and then check up on how exactly you’re progressing to achieve those goals. You also need to find out what choices you have to make so you’re able to live your core values.
It’s not absolutely necessary that you always come up with clear-cut answers during this meeting of self-reflection. What’s more important is that you take stock of what you’re actually doing.
To do this right, you need to treat it seriously. It’s a meeting, so you don’t do it when you’re tired. You need to do it when you’re at your best instead. You can reflect while you’re taking a break alone in your favorite coffee shop, or even while you’re in the bathroom.
Find Your Role Models
Lots of people idolize trailblazers in their field. Artists love Pollock and Monet, musicians can go for hip-hop artists and famous rock guitarists, and writers can idolize Austen and Shakespeare. Scientists have Stephen Hawking and computer nerds look up to Brin and Gates. The point of having a role model is that these people prove that it’s possible to succeed and do well in your chosen field. This boosts your confidence in your chosen profession, and their success can motivate us to achieve our own goals.
It’s not always easy to find the right role model that embodies all your core values. But you can narrow down your choices but assemble your dream team of advisors. These are the people who exemplify what you stand for, and whose advice you trust.
If they’re celebs, you can check out what they have to say through interviews and social media. They can also be more ordinary folks in your circle of friends and family or you know them through work. You can always try to meet up with them for a quick cup of coffee or for lunch, and you may pick things up when you do meet.
Don’t Always Play It Safe
Playing it safe all the time keeps you from taking risks, but is a very easy way to lose yourself in mediocrity. But senseless risk-taking doesn’t help either. So what kind of risks should you take? These are the risks that provide opportunities and rewards that enable you to reach your goals.
So if you value independence, courage, and leadership, you can’t be stuck in a safe job forever. At some point, you’ll have to man up and strike out on your own. You need to make sure that these risks help you towards your professed goals and interests so that you can reap the highest rewards.
All in all, personal branding is all about knowing yourself and acting like yourself. Know what you want and who you are, and act to make really set out to achieve your goals.
Here are few great social media tools you can use to start building your personal brand today.