As I sit here preparing to relaunch my personal brand website, I’m thinking about personal branding and why it’s important.
What does it even mean? A personal brand? It’s not as scary as you may think, so let me break it down.
You are your own brand
A nickname and a logo are not a brand. They are pieces of one. So what is a personal brand and how do you fine tune it?
I almost said, “How do you create your own brand”, however your personal brand has already been created. It’s been with you the whole time you’ve been around. Now is the time to fine tune it.
Your personal brand
What you say. What you do. Even what you don’t say and don’t do all creates an image of yourself to world around you. And check this out, if you don’t like your current brand it’s never too late to make a change. Understanding this perception can help you define and finely tune what you are expressing, your brand. Taking control of your personal brand is extremely valuable. Why? Because you are in control.
Now, how do you design your personal brand. A few things to think about:
1. The bad stuff
There are some things that you may find about yourself that you think may not be the most pleasant. Here’s the the thing, it’s like an addict, the first step is realization and admitting to it. The positive thing, you can make a change. Maybe you’re the type of person who always says “yes” to things and then regrets it later and you have to say “no”. Maybe you’re the type of person who gets defensive quickly and without thinking first you fire back. Take control, make a change and eliminate the bad stuff.
2. Your brand is an investment
Look at your personal brand as an investment. Your personal brand has the potential to last longer than your own lifespan. While the projects you’re working on might get sold or shut down, your personal brand will persist and (hopefully) add value to each new project you create. If you consider yourself to be in this particular game for the long run, a good personal brand is an invaluable investment. People will follow your brand from project to project if they feel connected to it. When launching new projects, your personal brand has the potential to guarantee you never have to start from scratch again.
3. Set your goals
Because your personal brand is built from the thoughts and words and reactions of other people, it’s shaped by how you present yourself publicly. This is something that you have control over. You can decide how you would like people to see you and then work on publicly being that image. Consider your goals for the brand. If you want to sell an expensive course in watercolor painting you’ll need to be seen as someone with the authority to teach others on the topic. If you want to get work for high-end design clients you’ll need to be seen as a runaway talent with a professional attitude.
4. Blogging & Speaking
The more you write and the more you speak the more people can understand who you are and what you are about. You may not know everything about a certain topic but if you know enough to write or speak about it, you are the expert in eyes of the listener.
On that note, I’ll leave you with my first blog post on my newly relaunched personal brand website.