Personal Brand

by Dawn Bentley

Why do it?

Developing a personal brand is about determining who you are at your core: in other words, being truly authentic to who you are, rather than inventing a brand reflecting who you would like to be. The benefits of this are many and the overriding reward is that you will enjoy what you do and come across as confident in doing it. This, in and of itself, will build confidence – and confidence breeds yet more confidence.

Whether you are being interviewed for a new job, presenting a project plan, seeking your manager’s backing for your idea or asking for a pay rise, what you want is for those people to trust you, the person behind it all. If you inspire confidence, you are likely to get the result you are aiming for because, at the end of the day, people buy people. The more confident and clear you are about what you bring to the party and how you operate, the more likely you are to get a yes and achieve what you want to achieve.

Having a very clear personal brand will allow you to achieve all of the following aims.

  • Positively manage your impact. When you are clear about your brand and the impact you want to create, you can behave more effectively and in a manner that is aligned to your brand; you can clearly articulate what people will get when they work with you, enabling you to build a stronger connection, earlier.
  • Clearly articulate who you are and what you are about. When you are clear about your brand, you will be clear about your personal values, your purpose, your skills and the value you bring to any organisation; if you send out a clear, consistent and targeted message, this will attract people who want to work with you.
  • Connect your abilities to the reputation you have/want. When you are clear about your brand and who you are, you can clearly express what you are expert at, what you do best and what people should go to you for, in terms of your experience and skills; your personal brand communicates information about your personality, ability and performance that creates a compelling reason to work with you.
  • Identify areas in which you may need manage yourself more effectively. When you are clear about your brand and the reputation you want to create, you will easily be able to identify skills, experience and behaviours you need to manage to deliver your brand and be consistent.
  • Identify areas in which you may need to develop. When you are clear about your brand and the reputation you want to create, you will easily be able to identify skills, experience and behaviours you need to develop.
  • Differentiate yourself from others. When you are clear about your brand, you will easily be able to differentiate yourself from your competitors and communicate what makes you unique; having a personal brand keeps you visible in the market place, sending out a clear message about you that makes you worth contacting.

Having a very clear personal brand will allow you to be absolutely clear about who you are and what you bring. What is your brand’s extraordinary core? What capability do you bring that is clearly better than or different from your peers/competitors? For example, when we look at the corporate world, we see that the Co-operative Bank has developed something very unique with ethical banking, as have Innocent, with their smoothies that are 100 per cent pure juice. Each of these brands has developed something that allows them to stand out and makes it hard for anyone else to emulate them.

Understanding your brand and what it stands for will enable you to communicate this confidently and congruently, and thus build trust.