My last article on personal brand was in 2009 - A lot's changed since then! And so I think it's time to revisit your personal brand and ask some tough questions.
Jeff Bezos famously said, "Personal Brand is what people say about you after you leave the room". I think it's now more appropriate to say,
"Personal Brand is what will get you in the room, or a seat at the table!"
I don't know about you, but I check a person's LinkedIn profile and Google them before every meeting. If I am going to spend my time with someone, I want to know it's going to be worth it and I want to be prepared.
If someone was to look you up, what would they find? Does your online presence show what you value, your strengths and what you hope to achieve? Or is it just a list of job positions?
And if you have created an online presence, is that authentic? Do you walk the talk in real life?
Building your Brand in Today's Online World
The world has become much more personal and less formal. Your brand should not be a CV template, but a conversation about what you value, what you are good at, and what you want to be and do.
Here's a quick exercise - who are you heroes? List 3 to 4. Great, now write down what is it about them that you value?
Chances are that what you value in your heroes, is what you value about life & career, and you probably live those value yourself. Now, how can you be more like your heroes?
"People tend to trust people who have values and are developing themselves to get better."
Here's a second exercise - think of a life or career moment that you are proud of. Maybe you succeeded at something or overcame an obstacle? Now think about the strengths you applied during this moment. Did you show courage, persistence, focus or some other quality? These strengths are part of your brand and you should be comfortable to talk about them. If you are not comfortable talking about your strengths, read my post on The Humility Barrier.
"Each person has particular strengths that make them who they are, and valuable to their clients or community"
Using Your Brand to Influence
The simplest definition of influence is, "To get a willing yes".
People are much more likely to give you a willing yes, if they are 'primed' with a positive impression of your before they even meet you, AND you back that up with authenticity at the meeting.
So ensure your LinkedIn profile, blog post, Facebook, webpage, YouTube videos all tell the same story; What you value, what your strengths are, and where you are going.
The results of effective doing this are; getting the job, getting the promotion or getting the deal.
So is your Personal Brand Working for You?