It's a new era, 'branding branding branding'; it’s everywhere! On the bus, everything we read and don't read... even in the washrooms! So it must be a big deal right?
Unfortunately, it is. Gone are the days where we simply allow our resumes to talk on our behalf, or rely solely on the opportunity to have an informal meeting with the president of an organization. It's not THAT easy to stand out, not in this day and age. We need to do more than simply, clicking ‘send’.
So 'personal branding', what does that mean? Hmmmm. I won't use the textbook definition of personal branding, because it doesn't explain the 'why'. So here's how I'll break it down for you.
When you think of the brand 'Apple', what image comes to mind? Which colours do you envision? What feeling do you get? What descriptive words would you associate with 'Apple'? All these questions, when answered, is what defines a brand.
For me, the image that comes to mind is the iconic 'bitten apple', the colors I see are silver and metallic black, the feeling I get is... anxiety! (Honestly they release a new phone every 12 months, that gives me great anxiety!)
The words that immediately come to mind, to describe the brand, are; professional, sleek, innovative, trendsetter, simple...
This is what branding is... it emphasizes on the 5 senses in relation to YOU.
So answer this question;
If you were a product, what words would you want people to use when describing YOU? Which image would you want them to see when they see YOU, how do you want people to feel when they are around YOU?
The answer to these questions are building blocks in defining YOUR brand, what you stand for and what your values are.
Why Do You Need To Have A Brand?
1. Portrays what you're about 2. Clearly speaks what you stand for 3. Makes you stand out from the competition 4. Shows your professionalism 5. Builds credibility
Regardless of the stage you are in your career; any one of the above points will help you understand why your branding is so important.
From the accountant in search of more contracts to the person wanting to leave their day job to go full-time into their passion... your branding is a key component to your success.
This is you... as a brand << make it personal.
So your branding really is anything that is addressed by you, right? So how’s your resume looking? Your LinkedIn account? Dare I even ask this one? How about your Instagram account? Hmmm... Do they portray the ‘brand’ you want to be identified with?
How about (this is my favourite) your email signature? Ooooh! You didn’t think about that one, did you? Anything that has your name or image on it… should embody the 'brand' you have chosen to represent ‘YOU’.