We often hear of people wanting to improve their personal brand in business, however, the actual concept of personal branding and what it really means can be confusing to many of us.
So what is personal branding all about and does being authentic really matter?
This is a question I ask participants at the beginning of our group workshops, and I am always enlightened by the answers. It is interesting to discover what people’s perceptions really are when it comes to personal branding. Sometimes the answer might be “personal branding is all about social media and how you show up on Instagram”. Other people view personal branding as “the way you dress and visually represent yourself”.
After years of experience working with global organisations and helping individuals to amplify their personal brand value, I can tell you, that personal branding is both of these things, but it’s also so much more.
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The art of authentic personal branding is a process, whereby you take time to understand and identify with the real you, diving deep into your values, strengths, personality traits and your story, then putting your true self out there and consciously shaping the way you are recognised and remembered.
I recently read an article in the Harvard Business Review, which stated, “taking control of your personal brand may mean the difference between an unfulfilling job and a rewarding career”. I could not agree more.
I like to define personal branding as: “How you are recognised and remembered. It is the art of bringing together your strengths, skills and your true essence, then implementing strategies to amplify your unique value to the world.”
Once you really make the time to invest in this process, you will be seen as influential. You will have a new appreciation of what makes you you, and a clear vision for your brand that will resonate with who you are and your goals.
Oprah Winfrey said something very telling at Stanford University, which I love. She said: “When your personality is aligned with your purpose, you will be unstoppable.”
So, how do you achieve authenticity in personal branding?
To get started, here are the five areas I recommend that you start focusing on to help you build your personal brand based on authenticity:
Brand strengths — Your brand strengths are at the heart of what you do. You can identify your strengths through many online tests or seek feedback from colleagues, peers and those who know you well.
Brand point of difference — What makes you unique and special? What is it that sets you apart from everybody else?
Brand personality — What is the consistent mood, quality and character that you bring?
Brand energy — We like to think of brand energy as your superpowers. What can you be counted on to contribute in all circumstances at all times?
Brand story — Why do you do what you do? What is the story that brought you here?
This article was first published on the Atomic Inspire website.