We are in that age where an individual must take responsibility for managing his/her own brand. Tom Peters, who is generally regarded as the father of personal branding once wrote and I quote, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called YOU.”
According to Peter Montoya, “Your brand is the powerful, clear, positive idea that comes to mind whenever other people think of you. It is what you stand for- the values, abilities and actions that others associate with you. It is a professional alter ego designed for the purpose of influencing how others perceive you, and turning that perception into opportunity.”
There are several elements that make up your personal brand. They include:
- Your personal appearance– clothing, hygiene and attractiveness.
- Your personality– your values, goals, identity and behavior.
- Your competencies– cognitive, business, communication and technical skills that enable you to perform your responsibilities.
- The differentiator– This is your unique selling proposition (USP) that differentiates you from others.
Building your brand begins with self-reflection. It requires that you SWOT analyze yourself- your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This will help you identify your assets and the areas you need to improve on. Your brand is an asset that you must consciously build and manage. Just think of Donald Trump (USA) and the millions of dollars his name commands. Also think of Pastor E.A. Adeboye (Nigeria) and the number of doors that name can open.
A few tips to help you build your brand include:
- Continuous learning: Add a degree/acquire a new skill, attend conferences/workshops, spend time with a mentor, and read relevant literature literature/journals.
- Be consistent: Consistency is the key to building a strong brand. Strive to be known for something and not everything.
- Be visible: To be effective, our personal brand must be seen repeatedly.
Always remember that building and managing your brand is your responsibility as the CEO of YOU Inc.
Written By Howard Derex-Briggs
Inspirational speaker/ human capital development consultant.