Written by: Jigna Shah
‘She is a big snob, is arrogant, and full of attitude.’
It surprised me this is what my team members used to describe me as.
Therefore, I had a tough time gaining their trust, work as a cohesive team and collaborate more.
I realized how to control the brand I am creating while doing my certification as an image consultant and soft skills trainer. I learned the power of personal branding.
As Jeff Bezos says, “Your brand is what others say about you when you’re not in the room”.
I made a conscious effort on how I want others to describe me. Many clients I coach ask me “Why should I worry about what people say?”. We should, because we live in a society, we work with people – our team, our family, and our clients.
What comes to your mind when I say the words–Mother, Father, Sibling, Spouse, Children, Best friend?
These qualities, attributes, and traits that you thought of is “their personal brand”.
We all are brands. We are being branded by others, whether we like it or not.
Personal branding is one of the most important factors in how people interact with you, how much they trust you and your success depends on that. Your success in personal, professional, and social life.
Why let others control your personal brand? Take control of your personal brand. Make a conscious effort in managing and controlling the brand you want to create.
That begs the question… How do I do it?
While working on my personal brand, I started with understanding the psychology of personal branding. The four key factors for building your personal brand are predictability, consistency, familiarity, and longevity.
Using these, I designed my very own “The DARE Cycle”.
The first step is to define your personal brand. Reflect on what you want.
Identification of one’s likeness, choices, and wishes is the hard part. With intense competition, most of us feel vulnerable and think–What will happen if I fail? Such questions prevent us from identifying our likes, strong points, and passion. Without identification of our strong points, we cannot be successful.
There is no foolproof way, and also many ways, to discover your brand. Ask yourself the following, if you do them honestly, then definitely, you can discover your brand.
a. What are my strengths?
b. what are my passion?
c. How do I want others to describe me?
d. What makes me unique?
4. What do I value most?
Pro Tip: Write answers to these questions in a journal or diary, instead of in digital format.
Once you have clearly established your brand definition, it is important that you take action consistently. Consistency requires that you present yourself in the same light each time you communicate your brand, whether it is in person, over a call, in email or social media.
This consistency must be in your stated values and made visible in your actions.
Sound the trumpets and raise your weapon.
Share unique, quality, and valuable content. Make it compelling and share-worthy.
Simple, it helps your brand rank better in searches. After all, if no one is engaging with your content or visiting your website, how can you motivate, inspire and share your knowledge?
Pro Tip: Plan a calendar, write content, and use Publer to schedule your posts to maintain consistency.
This action through your ABC – appearance, behavior, and communication.
How do you dress up for an occasion? Is your outfit working for you or against you? What is your body language saying? Is it in congruence with what you are saying? “How” are you using your tone, pitch, and volume? Is your social media interaction helping you stay true to your brand?
Your presence everywhere needs to reinforce the brand you are creating.
Pro Tip: Professional tone for LinkedIn, casual and friendly for Facebook/Instagram.
It is time to evaluate whether you have reached your goal of “what you want others to see in you?”. If not, where is the gap? Which area did you miss taking action on or reinforce?
I evaluate my personal brand every 6 months by talking to people I interact with frequently. I ask people I meet the first time, “What did they think of me when they first saw/interact with me?”
If they describe me as I had defined, I have achieved my goal.
I am friendly, approachable, and humble!
Pro Tip: Ask friends, family, and team members – 5 to 7 words they will use to describe you.
Start working on your brand today! Be successful, it is under your control!