I am so excited to start this series on personal branding because I have a very strong passion to educate people on how best they can achieve their goals through Branding. I will feature write-ups from experts in the field on this blog under the category PERSONAL BRANDING. Read on and get inspired!!!
In general people relations, you would have observed that people relate more with people they know, like and trust. This trend even applies to business relationships. It is normal to prefer to do business with people you trust. Even when the particular product or service offered is less economically viable, certain consumers still prefer to return to the same product or service providers just because of the trust they have in the producers and their products alike. It is the identified quality of a particular product brand that makes it such sought after. Though most products have a limited shelf life, their brands (identity in quality) remain strong and relevant almost eternally. A typical example of such a product is the coke (coca cola), I have coke as my first choice of a soft drink. The reason for this is simply the outranking satisfaction I derive from every bottle of coke I take. This satisfaction is what describes the coke brand to me. Fortunately, it is consistent with Coca cola’s brand promise – ‘so refreshing’. This soft drink never fails to refresh me each time I consume it. This is the very essence of packaging a brand, an identity, something to be known for, especially by consumers in the case of goods and services. It is this identity that is communicated to and remains with the consumers even after the product is totally consumed.
Very well then, I hope we have a clear idea on what the concept of branding is. Well, coke has got her brand; so have several corporate bodies. Now, even individuals have packaged brands for themselves. I am sure there are several persons whom when you think of, the first adjective that comes to mind is something like ‘Efficient’, ‘Proactive’, ‘Hardworking’, ‘Hospitable’, etc. Well, you may also want to think of some other people who are known for some other adjectives like ‘lazy’, ‘unreliable’, ‘loquacious’, etc. Yes, you too own a brand. You may not have officially published a brand promise but several people know you for certain qualities and that in itself is a brand – your brand. The brand you project is what determines whether people like you or not; whether people will love to work with you or not. It is that important, the brand you project as a person determines the caliber of people you attract to yourself, your business, your social life or what have you. So, at this point you may want to stop and think, HOW HAS PEOPLE’S CURRENT PERCEPTION OF YOU AFFECTED THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOU??
The following are personal attributes which translate into making a personal brand. A person’s ability to control these attributes greatly influences the external perception of his personal brand.
* The things we say
* The things we do
* How we feel
* How we react to things
Yes, true!! Everything matters!!
People like or dislike you from simply assessing you visually sometimes. Visual signals that influence your personal brand are what you wear, your posture, your hair style, your smile, eye contacts, etc. Remember that 93% of first impressions are non-verbal. The assessment starts from simple things people can observe about you. So, when next you need to attend a function or go someplace wherever, make a decisive effort to communicate the particular brand you uphold for yourself. You cannot leave your personal branding to chance! Other cues that influence people’s perception of you are verbal and behavioral. Verbal cues (including emails, SMS, etc) include your speed and tone of speech, your accent, how articulate you are, how tactful and diplomatic you are and very importantly your chosen topics of conversation. Behavioral cues include your professional reliability, timeliness, dependability and accountability, your consistency between words and actions, etc.
Now, here are a few tips on how you can best improve your personal brand
- Convey a consistent message
- Develop professional/personal relationships
- Listen more
- Act after investigating, preparation & reflecting
- Deliver on all promises/Exceed expectations
- Learn from the masters – attract mentors who matter
You can choose today to improve your personal brand or simply ignore it but I’ll leave you with this quote:
“People are like diamonds, they have a basic market value, but it is only after they have been polished, that the world will pay their real value’’
GET YOURSELF POLISHED!!
CULTIVATE THE BRAND “YOU”!!
by Tana Ofik