Excuse me! Do I know you?
Then you need to know yourself first.
Do you feel that no one identifies you? Did YOU really speak?
And… to make YOU speak, we need to focus on Personal Branding.
Identify YOU – Your Own Uniqueness!
“But I am not some product or service that needs to be branded. I am a human being!”
Many of us are yet not aware of what Personal Branding is. That is exactly where such questions come up, why us? And what is this whole thing about branding?
Personal Branding is building your own identity and using it to communicate: “Who are you?”
In this era of intense competition and a mass rat race, it’s important to stand out and make a difference.
Your identity is not just your name and your qualification or work experience. It is much more. Think about this and do a quick evaluation for yourself:
- How do people know you? Just by your name?
- Do you have anything else to offer other than work experience and academic qualifications?
- What sets of qualities do people associate with you?
- Other than job opportunities, what else can people approach you for?
- Other than on a 2-page resume or certificates, where can people find you?
- Are others aware of what uniqueness you have?
If most of the answers to the above questions are ‘NO’ then it’s high time, you start working on Personal Branding.
What happens when you brand yourself?
Once you brand yourself, your name carries a trust, a persona with an appeal, values, a strong conviction and expertise on a particular domain, weightage to your opinions, and your abilities.
You need no further introduction.
Your image makes it work for you and helps you with broader recognition, popularity, increased count of opportunities, and growth, both personally and professionally.
Everyone knows what a short lifespan a film actress has. Age is not just a number for them, but also a cut-off number, which simply puts their acting career to hold at some point. What do they do next? Forgotten amidst film magazines or nostalgia? No. A few have set the road of continuity by ‘branding’ themselves. They are here to stay.
Today, famous Indian Film Actress Shilpa Shetty is not just identified by her film career. Her own identity is a brand whose name itself carries trust and credibility in areas of fitness, nutritional well-being, yoga and personal development, motivator, and successful entrepreneurship.
So, get started and brand yourself. It’s never late!
How Can You Brand Yourself?
It’s time-consuming but worth it to invest some time and energy in discovering YOU. Let us quickly understand some effective ways of branding yourself:
#1. Know Yourself
“A good salesperson can sell even a non-performing product. So, what sells? The product or the marketing skills of the salesperson?”
The above question triggers us to think about the importance of self-belief. If you have a strong conviction over something, then nothing can stop you from achieving your goal.
The very first step is to take some time and introspect on the following points:
- What are your skills, you are confident of? Can you claim your expertise on that?
- Other than your professional qualifications, what is that factor which makes you different from others?
- What can you contribute other than doing your job as per your profile?
- Do you have any say or a strong opinion on any matter or cause?
- Are you associated with any leading group or organization related to your skills?
Carefully note down the answers on a page. This is as good as painting YOU on a blank canvas. The picture is still incomplete if you do not have the needed colors.
So, what to do next?
Let’s go to step two!
#2 Upgrade Yourself to Make a Difference
Yes! You heard it right. You cannot brand yourself on inadequate parameters. People get to trust you and believe in you; you must work continuously to honor your skills and make a mark.
- Find out the relevant skills you need to have. (the missing colors)
- Find a recognized source to train yourself and upskill.
- In case you are already trained, but it is long back, then you need to update your knowledge to meet the current demands.
- Think two steps ahead as to what is the advanced level of your current skill. You can always improve to make a difference.
Now when the missing colors are filled in the canvas, the picture is complete for the time being but no one knows about it.
It’s time for step three!
#3. Use Social Media to Your Best
Trust social media for a quick spread and upfront display of your skill sets, values, and other brand parameters.
Your detailed and well-designed profile displayed on professional networks, job sites, and other social media platforms, works wonders in making people aware of who YOU are?
- Your profile has to be clear and strong.
- Stick to relevant details like skills and certifications rather than using sentences like ‘I think I am good at……/I can do XYZ differently.’
- Showcase your strongest point at the top followed by other less important details.
- A summary would do great to give the viewers a snapshot of who YOU are…i.e., your Identity.
You are all set, but one last but not least step. This is where your brand takes off. Let’s go to Step Four!
# 4. Give YOU a Voice! Be Authentic
You are present across social media now. But now we need action. Your own identity starts to become a BRAND, only when you substantiate your profile with your activities.
You may be prone to be a part of the herd. But where are YOU if you are imitating others? Be authentic, so that people connect with YOU and not just with the idea.
- Connect with the target audience and join relevant forums.
- Voice your opinion from time to time and mark your presence.
- Find those areas where you can contribute through your skills through simple volunteering.
- Follow the parent groups/expert organizations related to your field regularly for updates.
- Make sure that even if you resonate with like-minded people around you, but in the end, present your take.
- Once you have a realistic connection, ask for recommendations to accelerate your drive as a recognized identity.
- Honor the appreciations and welcome the suggestions.
Now I know…Who are YOU.
Take a breath and hold yourself. The Take Off begins! Enjoy the Flight.
A Great Example of Personal Branding
Tony Robbins. A person who needs no introduction. We know him as a phenomenal ‘performance coach’ and for his life-changing seminars. A troubled childhood, financial crisis was all that he got. But this didn’t stop him.
At an early age of 17, he discovered his inner passion and he put all his energy and efforts into strengthening the inner call. He worked hard on his public speaking skills, philosophy of life, and the truth. Years went by, his hard work and presence began to pay off. He has found his YOU… Tony Robbins became a BRAND.
I’ll leave you with this quote: “Identity is this invisible, incredible force that controls your whole life. It’s invisible, like gravity is invisible, but it controls your whole life.”