It’s All About You: Building Your Personal Brand 1160

Your personal brand is what differentiates you from others. Thus, it won’t be wrong that in order to project your brand, you must project your true self.

Maybe you never gave it a conscious thought, but you have a personal brand. It exists, irrespective you cultivated it or not. So, the question no longer is whether you want to build yourself into a brand or not; the question is what kind of personal brand do you want to build. As Dr. Sarah David puts it, “Personal Branding is all about your unique promise of value and what you bring to the table. It’s also about getting your potential clients to choose you as the only solution to their problem.” What is your promise of value?

Why Should You Care About Your Personal Brand?

It helps you grow. Period. Building a strong personal brand opens professional opportunities. It can land you your dream job, connect you with prospect clients, industry recognition and more. However, to achieve all this, you must first need to understand and outline how you want your personal brand to be perceived.

A personal brand statement is just fluff unless you align your actions with it. It is not about personal bragging. It has to be substantiated.”

Remember, your personal brand is what differentiates you from others. Thus, it won’t be wrong that in order to project your brand, you must project your true self. There’s, of course, more to it. In the words of Chris Ducker, “your personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.”

How to Create a Personal Brand No One can Ignore?

To create a solid personal brand you must first have a personal brand statement. It is a concise way of letting other people know what you do and why you’re different. This statement a key tool in your box that provides a quick, top-level understanding of what you stand for without making others read and appreciate that part of you that you are proud of. It is usually no more than two sentences. Here are some examples of personal brand statements –

  • “I help people create new  opportunities in their businesses and careers.”
  • “I provide visibility to diverse talent on untapped promotional platforms where they can share    their work.”
  • “I spark new product ideas for large companies that have stagnant product cycles.”
  • “I help CEOs transform their brand with speed, focus and results.”
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However, a personal brand statement is just fluff unless you align your actions with it. It is not about personal bragging. It has to be substantiated.

Thus, before you begin a personal branding exercise, make sure you ask yourself the following questions –

  1. What do you want to be known for?
  2. What are you known for?
  3. What do you stand for?
  4. What past experiences have you had that has helped shape who you are today…
  5. What makes you different?
  6. How have you been successful in the past?
  7. What problems do you solve?
  8. Who are your role models?
  9. How have you demonstrated impact?
  10. What are your areas of expertise?
  11. How recognizable are you?
  12. Who should know about you?
  13. What is your greatest professional achievement? The answers to these questions will determine your branding strategy and approach, and help you create a unique personal branding statement.

Once you’ve figured your personal branding statement, you can go ahead and refine your brand. Here are a few things you must do in order to get started –

Know your Destination – As William Aruda, a personal branding expert, puts it ‘define your destination by outlining exactly where, when and how you want to transform.’ This is the first step towards building an influential personal brand.

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Deliver Value – Find way to add value to your audience by creating content that is in line with your value proposition. Don’t seem desperate but make sure whatever you share online, or talk about, reflects your beliefs and personal brand.

Associate with Other Strong Brands – You’re who you are friends with, quite literally. Your network has a great influence on your brand. So find strong brands you can leverage to elevate your personal brand. A good place to start? Three C’s – company, college, colleagues.

Seek Mentors – Self-made success stories are rare. Everyone has someone, somewhere, at some point in their life to show them the path of success, nudge them. These mentors can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field and reach the top.

Reintroduce Yourself – Again, in William Aruda’s words, you must ‘reintroduce yourself with a rigour and make it contextual.’ Creating a personal brand is a ton of work, but it’s also incredibly rewarding and a great learning experience. It is about reinventing yourself to give yourself a new and contemporary image.

To conclude, the ultimate aim of personal branding is to create “lasting impressions” aimed at achieving personal and business success. It is all about realizing the following:

  1. How do I create lasting success?
  2. How do I increase my visibility and lead with excellence?
  3. How do I double my results without giving away my life?



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Assistant Dean of Career Management at Georgetown University McDonough School of Business

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