Imagine this. You’re at a business networking event, and you say hello to someone and ask, ‘What do you do?’ And they reply, ‘I annoy burglars!’
Well, what are you going to say to that? Most likely, you’re going to ask another question. Perhaps you’ll ask, ‘Tell me more?’
And the other person may reply, ‘I’m a locksmith and security expert and my total focus for my clients is to ensure they, their families and their business premises are totally safe and secure at all times. At no time has a property that I manage ever been burgled or security compromised.’
Wow, what will you say next? More importantly, will you remember this person at some future time if you’re ever in the market for a security expert to assist you in your business or home? The chances are very high that you will, and if you’d swapped business cards at the networking event, you may well call and ask for their assistance. You might even recommend them to people in your world if the chance arises, just because they stood out when you met them all that time ago.
That’s the power of personal branding
Everybody’s heard of the word ‘brand’ and mostly we think about brands in relation to companies like McDonalds, Coke, Apple and Virgin. But think of those last two, Apple and Virgin, and the two people most associated with those companies; Steve Jobs and Sir Richard Branson. In his black jumper and steel-rimmed glasses, Steve Jobs never detracted from the Apple brand, he embodied it. The same is true of Richard Branson; he’s a walking entrepreneur, he never wears a tie, is awkward in interviews, and his whole being is on the pulse of what his customers want, need and never even imagined possible.
Okay, you may be thinking, but these are two of the most successful people on the planet in recent history. How is personal branding really going to make a difference to my life, career or business?
You must be branded too
Regardless of whether you’re a small business owner, searching for a job, are an employee or even a student, it will benefit you to think about and own your personal brand. How would you answer that question right now, ‘What do you do?’ Because the reality is nowadays that when people ask that question, what they really mean is ‘Who are you?’ And it’s up to you whether your answer is a conversation starter or stopper.
When you pay attention to your personal brand, you create a vision for your future, and with your brand strategy a path of action with which to get there. The impression you make, the interactions you have, the products you create and whether you are truly authentic and consistent are all key ingredients of personal branding and hugely impact your success as a business owner or employee throughout your career.
It’s time to stand up, stand out and be counted
What do you want people to think of when they hear your name? Who are the people you want to know your name? What can you offer them that will make their lives better, easier or happier?
Reputation has always been a key to success and in today’s digital and social media age you have more opportunities than ever before to build your reputation through your style, presence, connections and expert content. And don’t think that content is only for ‘creative’ people. Whatever you do, in whichever field, people will always ‘Google you’ before they meet or employ you. What will they see?
With just a little knowledge and dedicated time and effort, you can begin to influence all of those impressions and build trust.
Excited? I hope so. Your future success in business depends on your personal brand. Go for it. Create a personal brand that people would walk over hot coals to work with.
Don’t leave your reputation to chance when you can easily be your very own brand guru.
Action: Are you branded? I’d love to hear what you have done to create your personal brand. Let’s get a conversation started. How about introducing yourself below, telling us about you?