Everything’s so loud, so busy and instantaneous now that it’s getting harder and harder to stand out. The level of competition is fierce, it’s global and it’s critical to be seen, to be heard and to be valued amongst your competitors in the eye of a small number of potential clients or recruiters. Unfortunately, it’s a difficult feat to achieve.
Branding on a business-level is common, but today branding is becoming just as important on a personal level. After all, you might work for a business that works with other businesses, but it’s people working with people that makes business relationships truly valuable. Even if you have your own company, with a great brand, you, yourself need to stand out.
People need to know what they can expect from you before you walk in the door or pop into a Zoom call. They need to understand the value and experience you bring. What are you renowned for? What is your work ethos? How do you communicate with others (those above and below you)? How will you deliver for prospective clients? What’s your personal brand story and is it easy for them to repeat correctly.
Remember: “People Do Business with People”
So, how can you go about building a great Professional Personal Brand that stands out, is authentic, is valuable, relevant and engaging?
IT ALL STARTS WITH YOU:
What are your personal drivers? Your Values? Your Key Descriptors? Stay away from all those wonderfully dull, overused words; Professional, Team Player, Good Communicator. Everyone is all of these things surely? You want to stand out.
Let me correct that – You NEED to stand out!
As a starting point for your Personal Brand, aim to discover words that describe you, drive you and are a bit of a stretch for you. These will be your descriptors and will remind you at every touch point what you want people to get from their interactions with you. Find words that are Emotional rather than Functional. You’ll always bond with someone a lot faster over emotional connections.
TRY OUT DESCRIPTORS/DRIVERS LIKE;
Curious, Exciting, Kind, Welcoming, Empowering. They are all action based emotive descriptors. Before you go into that next Big Deal Meeting – Remind yourself of these words, Be these words and Stretch to Fit these words.
WHO WILL CONNECT WITH YOU?
The next area to really look closely at is who are you dealing with? Who is your Audience? Now, that may seem clearly straight forward. Your Customer – the one you really want to buy from you. But everyone in business (Business Owner, Manager, Entrepreneur, Solopreneur, Blue Chip Sales Director) has numerous audiences, some more critical to the “Yes Decision” than others. But ignore your Influencers, Connectors, Detractors and Advocates at your peril. Build a daily awareness of these groups and their needs and trust points as they relate to you and your value message.
Make the effort to delineate those audiences, clearly. What they value, where they have knowledge gaps, what they worry about, what comes between them and a “Yes Decision”, who they need to impress, what’s relevant for them. Also keep in mind who they know, who they could refer you to or recommend you to.
Use this information to craft your personal brand, ensuring that is engaging, valuable, authentic and relevant. Build a series of messages based on your brand for each of these audiences. Show them that you are of interest and of value to them. Prove to them that you are a giver, a helper, a connector. Be authentic to yourself, your beliefs and values in a way that shows you to be the best match for them. In a way that is energising, engaging and clear. Be clear and concise in your Personal Brand. It must be easily understood by you and by those who meet you. It must be consistent, every time I meet you I know what you’ll be like; Don’t let me down, don’t confuse me or disappoint me. Rather, aim to reassure me, enlighten me and impress me.
A great authentic Personal Brand is the best calling card you can possibly have. Now all you have to do is get it out there!