Do you really know who you are?
With plenty of uncertainty in our industry, there’s much reflection on how we can stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s the job market, social media, upskilling, transitioning or simply making our voices heard, it’s definitely time to consider the question – how do I get my personal brand out there more?
The concept of “personal branding” isn’t new. The cult of “personality” has been around for thousands of years. But, since the introduction of social media, there’s been an explosion of interest in how us “ordinary” folk can harness its power. We all have the potential to be broadcasters, influencers, thought-leaders or, more simply, both noticed and understood for who we are.
The idea of personal branding transfers marketing concepts to you as an individual. To find the things – or rather the blend of things – that make you unique and noticeable. Different to others. As one personal branding agency puts it – to make you a “branded product”.
With this line of thinking, you explore how you can become consistent in everything from your photographs, website, logo, business cards and CV to your clothing, hairstyle and appearance. However, it also means looking at your opinions, messaging, views, expertise and positioning. In other words, who you are and what you stand for. Ultimately, the stronger the sense of “Brand Sara” or “Brand Miguel”, the more prospective employers, recruiters and companies will notice you.
We are urged to make sure that such exercises in promoting ourselves consistently are also “genuine” and “authentic”, because there’s nothing worse than someone seemingly “fake” who’s just “putting on a show”.
And I think that’s where a lot of us still struggle in this process.
Because, although there’s a lot of sense in exploring personal branding, unless we really know who we are, how can we know what’s “authentic” to us?
How will we make videos to post online if we aren’t confident or don’t like our appearance?
How can we write interesting articles if we’re not in touch with our own beliefs and our values?
How can we show up consistently if we’re not resilient enough to cope with failures and setbacks?
As a life coach and communicator, I work with many #eventprofs who are either still in work, still furloughed, facing redundancy, looking to make a change or don’t even know what’s happening next for them.
There’s one thing that underlies nearly all these conversations – Confidence.
And I believe personal branding needs to start there.
Wherever and however you are right now, it seems to me there are five steps to gaining confidence in your personal brand.
1. Personal Purpose
Getting clear on who you are and what you want. Gaining clarity around your purpose in life – including the impact you want to make on other people and the world – is the ultimate driving force for how you show up. It’s a compass for your career, life and relationships.
2. Personal Belief
Building confidence in putting yourself out there. Have you ever noticed how people with strong belief in themselves can achieve almost anything? Even without experience, qualifications, knowledge. As Henry Ford once said: “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right”.
3. Personal Power
Working on developing a powerful mindset to bounce forward from setbacks. We all have personal power. Some of us have stepped into it, others are still waiting to believe it. We all have the capacity to achieve more than we already are.
4. Personal Story
Being able to communicate authentically and naturally. You have already overcome challenges, hurdles and setbacks. Even things that you don’t think are a big deal, others may still be struggling with. Don’t underestimate the power of your stories to resonate with others.
5. Personal Presentation
Learning the skills, getting the practice and experience to put yourself across memorably. Even the most successful of us might still be reluctant to get on a stage, present at a meeting or make a video. The truth is that practice, practice, practice is still the best way to remove some of these fears. Or at least, lessen their grip. You can’t be visible by never being seen.
None of this guarantees a job or work, naturally. But they do guarantee you show up in the right way.
And that is what I believe is the start of developing a powerful personal brand.
On Wednesday 28 October 2020, we hosted a panel discussion with three industry experts on the topic of personal branding and the top tips you can use to become a master of personal branding yourself. You can watch it here.
You may also be interested in…
- 60 seconds with… Chloe Richardson
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- Why hybrid events promote a healthier mind
Find more content like this on our virtual resource hub, IBTM Connect.