“Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.” Jason Hartman.
These are the days of branding to stand out from others. As every individual has a name, you must also have a brand for yourself to stand out from others. It serves as an image and helps you personally, professionally and socially to provide meaning to your life.
Here is how you build your brand.
Adopt ABCDE of Branding
Where A stands for anchoring your aspirations and expectations to your audience; B stands for building your audience as per your passions, principles and philosophies; C stands for communicating clearly with your audiences about your ethics apart from sharing your domain expertise; D stands for demonstrating your domain expertise continuously; and finally, E stands for engaging your audiences with an etiquette to establish yourself.
Trifurcate Your Vision
When you want to brand yourself you must have a vision. You can divide your vision into three segments: personal, professional and social. That means how you want to be remembered personally; how you want to influence others professionally; and how you want to impact the society. You must write down them on a piece of paper to capture your thoughts. It provides you with clarity, and then share it with others though stories. Take feedback from others and mold yourself to create a viable and feasible final vision that can be executed effectively. For instance, personally, I would like to become President of India by 2030; professionally, I would like to share my knowledge with the world to excel as an international thought leader in the area of leadership; and socially, I want to groom one million students as global leaders on non-profit basis. I am building 50 core team members through 5 levels of leadership who will assist me to accomplish my goal to groom one million students as global leaders. After trifurcating your vision, ensure that all three visions are well aligned to achieve your goals quickly and smartly. Invest your energies and efforts consistently to achieve the three outcomes simultaneously.
Look at your passionate interests first. Identify your value system. Align them and contribute in those areas regularly. Over a period of time, you find amazing improvement in your brand. Contribute articles in your area of interest through trade journals. Open a blog and share your ideas and insights so that more readers will follow you and that makes your brand building much easier. Join associations to connect with others. Share your knowledge through training and teaching programs. Author books in your domain. Approach and anchor from multiple channels systematically and consistently. You will be surprised to find an amazing brand for yourself. Additionally, identify and create a group of stakeholders who can help you in branding. Involve them aggressively by sharing your passion and vision. In this way, you reach out to more people thus minimizing dependence on a single stakeholder. Don’t dilute your brand after building it. Remember, your brand is your bread and butter. After building your brand, you must sustain and preserve it. Ensure that you take all precautions to avoid getting noticed for wrong reasons.
Interweave Internally and Externally
You must build your professional image internally and externally. Internally, acquire knowledge regularly in your passionate areas and externally share it with others systematically. Join as an advisory board member; be a member of panel discussion and participate in conferences. Be a volunteer in your area of interest. Work in both profits and non-profits the way Peter Drucker did it. When you work in profits you earn money for your maintenance and livelihood. When you work in nonprofits you make a difference in the lives of others. Hence, you must balance your time properly.
When you want to build your brand, it must appear realistic and acceptable to your audiences. You must inspire them through clear-cut blueprint to enable them to share and spread to others. It must be visible to many people and they must talk about it. Hence, your branding must be inspiring and compelling for your audiences.
Brand Yourself through Social Media
Currently social media is growing rapidly. You can take support of this amazing media to share your ideals and ideas to brand yourself globally. You can brand yourself quickly and smartly once you are acquainted with social media. You can brand yourself professionally through LinkedIn. You can brand socially through Facebook. You can brand as a celebrity through Twitter. If you open blogs, you can brand yourself as a domain expert. There are other social media including Google+ that help you brand yourself. Remember the slogan, more display, more sales. Hence, you must brand yourself to stand out from others. At the same time, don’t boost yourself or blow your trumpet. Find out the difference between boosting and boasting and balance judiciously to build your brand consistently with authenticity. When you look at Steve Jobs, he branded himself as an innovation guru. When you look at Richard Branson, he himself is an international brand. Hence, you can learn from such leaders who branded themselves globally.
Create an Everlasting Brand
Branding provides you an identity. MultiChannel News quoted, “Branding gives you an exceptionally effective way to broadcast who you are to your target market quickly and efficiently”. When you are called by your name, you get excited. Similarly, when you are connected with your passionate area and called by your brand name, you get excited as it conveys your value system, principles and philosophy. Hence, choose your passions; look for your potential; follow the road less traveled; spot your talents; acquire skills; blend your talents with skills; reinvent with changing times and technologies to create an everlasting brand for yourself to live beyond your lifetime.
“The CEO is not the brand! It is not about you. You are a temporary steward of a wonderful enterprise, so leave it in better shape than you find it”. Sam Palmisano, IBM.
Prof. M.S. Rao
International Leadership Guru
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