You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. I’ve even taught classes about it. Establishing and managing your “personal brand” is an important part of the relationship you build with your clients, customers, peers, employees and management teams. But here’s the thing… this concept is not as new as we might think.
It used be called your “reputation”.
Your reputation is what you are known for. It can help you or hurt you, depending on what it is and who is interpreting it. A business person with a reputation for shady dealings might not last long, but a rock star with a reputation for wild parties and controversial lyrics might attract additional interest that could boost sales and concert attendance.
It dawned on me the other day that a personal brand is really like putting a label on your reputation. Your reputation is earned through your actions, and the personal brand moniker you create essentially describes what your reputation is, or what you want it to be.
If you are just starting out it in the professional world, defining a personal brand identity can also help build your reputation by keeping you focused on your main goal.
If you are considering drafting a brand statement for yourself, here are the three things that keep coming up in terms of what your brand identity should communicate:
- Who you are
- What you stand for
- What you will deliver to your customers
(You may also recognize these things as what people come to know about you through your reputation!)
The WAY your statement communicates these could be implicit or explicit, but thought should be given to how you will convey these main points. Brand statements are typically short, they mention the brands’ values and has some sort of call to action. For example, Nike’s “Just Do It” statement communicates that they value action, it’s very short (thus easy to remember), and the call to action is to do something – no excuses.
While the brand statement itself is important, what REALLY communicates your brand (and defines your reputation) is your actions. What are you doing to support what you say your brand is? Is there anything (hello, social media) that might blur the vision you have for your brand and your reputation?
Not everyone has, or even needs, a personal brand. And that’s okay. However, everyone does have a reputation, whether it’s the one you want or not.
What are you doing to ensure your reputation is what you want it to be?
Thanks for reading!
About the Author: Matt defines his brand as “Helping Leaders Lead” and he does that through this blog, on-site training, coaching, and his new book, “The Myth of Employee Burnout“, due out in just a few weeks.