Personal Branding - How to build your Brand

Jeff Bezos famously said, "Personal Brand is what people say about you when you leave the room", but without a personal brand, there are many rooms that you won't get a chance to enter!
 
If you are not known for something, or otherwise forgettable, you can forget career advancement or financial success.

Boss-Level Personal Branding

The key to personal branding is that you clearly communicate your value, and that value is relevant to your audience (clients, colleagues, senior executives).

I was recently coaching a fellow Professional Speaker, who was struggling to find his 'tagline', that value statement that follows your name. Do you have a tagline?


Ironically, this speaker was an expert on communication, but calling himself, 'The Communication Expert' was a bit too generic, so I challenged him to articulate, his Message, his Methodology, and his Market. I asked him what problem he solved for people and what they said about him after he solved it for them?
 
Do you know what problem you solve, for your clients or company?

We brainstormed lots of taglines and then threw out the ones that were too general or had the possibility to be misinterpreted. Then the right line just 'dropped' and it felt like the earth moved. It was a Eureeka moment and I immediately googled the Urban Dictionary to check that we had the right meaning. 
 
Since this speaker exclusively worked with C-level executives and helped them 'communicate like a boss', we settled on 'Boss-Level Communication'.
 
"Boss- Level - The status a person achieves by making a better quality of life for themselves by doing what they need to do regardless of all the haters and obstacles out there. A person that calls the shots." - urbandictionary.com
 
This definition -is a perfect fit for communication, and works for personal branding too. Many people hold back on embracing their strengths to achieve advancement because they are afraid of the haters, but then feel frustrated when less competent people are promoted because they put themselves forward.

The moment you have a brand you increase your 'Influence Capital', your ability to get a willing "yes" to your ideas and proposals (I have recorded a free masterclass on this check it out here).

Exercises to Find your Personal Brand

Firstly, who are your heroes?
Who inspires you, for example, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Elon Musk, Batman, Professor Dumbledor?
List 3 to 4. Then write down what is it about them that you value.

You will discover that what you value in your heroes, is what you value about life & career, and you probably live those values yourself.
Now, your mission is to answer through action - how can I live my values, more like my heroes?

People trust people who have values and are developing themselves to get better. Notice, I said developing, NOT PERFECT.

The 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 personal brand and you should be comfortable talking about them. 

Each person has particular strengths (talent plus skills) that make them who they are, and valuable to their clients, company, or community. Hiding these strengths, or hoping somebody is going to one day recognize your contribution and give you a medal, is foolhardy.

Using Personal Brand to Build Influence

Aristotle, the Greek Philosopher noted that to influence, we need Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos is character or reputation, Pathos is an emotional connection, and logos is logic. Personal Brand builds your pathos and makes it easier to make a connection and get your point across.

I have expanded on this influence in another blog, "How to be Heard - Every Time You Speak to Your Team or Address an Audience", which you can read here, or watch my free Master Class on Executive Presence (registration below).

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