The Power of the Personal Brand

“Would you ever buy yourself?”

“And if so, why?”

I’ve had the opportunity of working with a CEO and started the conversation with that simple question.

Initially, she was perplexed.

However, it forced her to think introspectively about herself, her business and ultimately, how to position herself internally and externally.

And that’s a question normally asked about products or brands you’re considering purchasing from a company and not about yourself.

However, by turning the tables and asking you to think about yourself–you’re beginning to think of yourself as a Brand–a Personal Brand.

Businesses are always trying to focus on increasing revenue, sales and ultimately do so by positioning and targeting their brands to various market segments.

As an entrepreneur, you should take a similar approach. That is, thinking of yourself as a brand, determining your brand in the market and understanding how to communicate to key stakeholders.

You represent your business and in fact, in your customer’s eyes, you are the brand.

So, what is your personal brand?

Here are simple tips for creating for creating one:

1. Know your strengths and weaknesses and be honest in your assessment. Write them down and focus on them.

2. Understand how others perceive you versus how you view yourself. More times than not, there will be a perceptual gap and you should determine how to close it. One’s perceptions are generally not consistent with how others see us. In other words, “perception is reality”.

3. Think beyond the obvious and don’t identify just superficial things about you. In other words, challenge yourself and thoroughly understand your business and personal passions. This will assist you in determining what “makes you tick…” and will provide direction based on your passions.

4. What makes you different? Don’t just focus on your functional expertise, because most people are experts, but do you embody that really makes you unique?

5. Create vision and mission statements–for you. Think about your aspirations and what you do daily. These are your vision and mission statements, respectively. Keep them brief, concise and focused.

6. Develop an elevator pitch. Create a message that’s less than thirty seconds, captures the essence of you and can be effectively communicated.

7. Bringing it all together. Develop a plan which communicates who you are, what makes you different and how you’re going to effectively communicate to existing and potential customers and clients.

By thinking about these simple tips, you have the basis for creating your Personal Brand.

And hopefully, the answer to the above-referenced questions will be a resounding…