By Hume Johnson, PhD
We shouldn’t but we judge a book by its cover. Psychologists say when we meet someone, our brain compiles all the information we can gather in thirty seconds about them to form and impression – image, body language, stance, posture, smell, tone of voice, attitude etc.
If you don’t project a certain image – look, sound and behave appropriately, incorrect assumptions can be made about you and your abilities. This is your brand. Your brand is the image you project to others; how you choose to present yourself to others. ‘Its is about discovering what is true and unique about you, and letting everyone know about it’ (Schawbel et, al. 2009). Personal branding is an amalgamation of your assets, skills, abilities, experiences and values. It is a way of honestly reflecting your identity and reputation (Andrea Molloy).
‘Personal branding is the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out in a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition (whether professional or personal) and then leverage it across platforms with a consistent message and image to achieve a specific goal’ (Schawbel, 2010).
Why Brand Yourself
- can enhance recognition as an expert in your field,
- establish your reputation and credibility,
- advance your career and,
- build your self-confidence.
Developing your personal brand makes you a more valuable asset. We are not here talking about creating a false image – an image that is not you. It is important for you to be authentic; sincere – about what is truthful and amazing about you and work hard to make the most of it. Authenticity and sincerity means showcasing exactly who you are, and what you can deliver. If you claim to be a freelance writer, then you have to show a portfolio of solid writing samples.
Aim is to help you to discover your personal brand, and, become the driving force in marketing your personal brand. To get started, you must be willing to do two things: (1) Acknowledge first that you are a brand, and (2) Accept that no one can market your brand better than you. In short, you are responsible for marketing your personal brand.
YOUR APPROACH TO YOUR PERSONAL BRAND
- Differentiation – Standing out in the crowd by focusing on your unique gifts and what makes you different.
- Marketability – Providing something that other people want or need.
Why should people choose your brand?
- You have a robust professional network
- You get endorsements to show from respected colleagues
- You deliver results. (Accomplishments with catalogued results)
- You have a diverse and unique skill set.
Thanks to technology and the worldwide web, you have the ability, for example, to use your social media page as a personal billboard to advertise your talents and expertise.