What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about the term “brand”? Let me guess, a company, a label, a corporation, something along those lines, correct?
Rarely do we associate ourselves with the term “brand”. Most of us are not self-employed, no public figures and don’t have a Social Media following of several thousand.
So why am I speaking about a personal brand and why is it so important?
In the age of the internet, you can find information about pretty much anyone on this planet in a matter of seconds (at least where the Internet is available). Do a quick Google search or look for someone on Facebook and you will find what that person likes, where she/he lives, what kind of food they eat and much more. Today, it is more difficult to stay hidden and almost frowned upon. “You’re not on Facebook, you got something to hide???”
Therefore, whether you want it or not YOU ALREADY HAVE A PERSONAL BRAND!
You may not call it a “brand” but people naturally give labels to anyone and everything. Are you known to be trustworthy and honest or are you a notorious liar? Your actions will speak for themselves and the sooner you realize this, the faster you will build your personal success. If your brand is in high demand, guess what? People will naturally seek you with more opportunities because the chances of success are much higher. That does not have to mean monetary success. Even if someone wants to go out and have a great night that can be seen as a success. But if your personal brand says you are a boring and complaining fart, the chances of having a great time are much smaller. You get what I’m saying, right? Your brand and your economic value exist only in the minds of other people - how you view yourself is very important but does little if other people don’t perceive you in the same manner.
As usual, I love passing on some of the things that I have done to increase my personal brands along with lessons I have learned from people that are much smarter than me.
Learn how to communicate
Just like many of the most successful companies are the ones that know how to market themselves effectively, communication is one of the most important tools to improve your personal brand. I have been a member at a public speaking club called Toastmasters since 2014 and I cannot emphasize enough how much this one skill has affected my life. When you learn how to effectively communicate, you also learn how to be yourself. Fear of public speaking? All it takes is good practice and you no longer have to hide the beautiful soul of yours. Think about it, we communicate all day long. Even when we are not speaking, we communicate with our bodies or by our silence. Being able to take control what you say, significantly improves your personal brand.
We live in a highly competitive world and most of us are just trying to fit in. We put on filters and pretend to be someone we are not. Funnily enough, we worship the people that are most authentic even if in the beginning they may seem “weird”. When you stay true to yourself and continue to do so in face of adversity, you will ultimately make peace with who you are. People are most interested in knowing who you truly are. Honestly sharing the ups and the downs creates authenticity. You do not need to apologize for who you are - to no one! Embrace your “weirdness”, learn to love yourself for who you are and what you have. No star can shine brighter than the light you have inside.
Tell your story
Understanding where you came from and where you are going is worth every ounce of gold on the planet. We are natural born storytellers and once you learn how to share the lessons you have learned, your brand value will go up. Take some time and write down your life’s story. “But I haven’t done much”. So what? Talk about your childhood, how you were raised and what you have experienced. Focus on the lessons you learned when times were difficult. What is the message you can bring across and who could find value in it? Remember, every emotion serves a purpose and even the negative ones carry a valuable message with them. I absolutely urge you not to make up s**t because it will one day backfire and that might kill your brand.
Associate with other people
Find people that do something you are already doing or would like to do. Research them on the internet, go to their events or just call them. Remember the words of Les Brown: “Birds of a feather stick together. If you hang around with losers, you will end up a loser.” So, surround yourself with people that can pull you forward and then share it with the world (Social Media!). When other people see you spend time with more successful people, they will start asking “who’s that dude, better check him out to see if he’s got something good to say”. Just showing up is already half the work and many people underestimate the power of association. Great sources to get started are Meetup or Facebook groups.
Focus on value
Be very mindful of your presence on Social Media. Posting 200 selfies a day while eating hamburgers and gossiping about celebrities does not increase your personal brand. In fact, it makes you look like a fool and clearly, there are deeper issues to be resolved. Just ask yourself “what information can I provide that would truly help someone else”. If your brand uplifts just one person, you’re a winner - congrats! Think about your interests or hobbies. Maybe you are passionate about a certain sport and you could share your training practice with people that would like to get started. You do not need to reinvent the wheel, all you need to do is provide real value.
The more aware you become about your personal brand, the faster you will realize that it only exists in the minds of other people. Focusing on helping, uplifting and sharing your authentic self, will create a very powerful brand. You have so much more Power in You than you may currently think you have. Let your actions speak for themselves and be sure to keep your commitments. Honoring your word is key to a brand that says you are serious about life.
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, send me an email to email@example.com and I will get back to you within 24 hours.