When a company identifies their brand personality, they didn’t just create it on the fly. It’s a strategic, well-thought out decision pieced together to be truly representative of who they want to be. Your own brand should work the exact same way.
JOT DOWN A FEW ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE THE WAY YOU’D LIKE TO BE PERCEIVED BY OTHERS.
Additionally, you should also take time to think about your target market—or who you want your brand to resonate with. Customers of your business? Industry peers and professionals? Potential employers? Ironing out these details ahead of time will make the rest of the process that much easier.
Ask any well-known company, and they’ll quickly explain that a brand really means nothing if you don’t market it. It’s not a “build it and they will come” situation. In order to establish a well-known identity, you need to take initiative and promote it. Create business cards. Get professional headshots taken. Pull together the pieces of the puzzle that will accurately portray your identity and message in the world.
Offer Distinct Value
People are inherently selfish. We typically don’t interact with a brand unless we’re getting something from it. And, in a professional setting, this rule also holds true for people. We want to extract value from the people we engage with—whether it’s a new beneficial relationship, access to new skills or expertise, or even a career opportunity.
IN ORDER TO ESTABLISH A POSITIVE PROFESSIONAL IDENTITY, YOU SHOULD PLAN TO OFFER DISTINCT VALUE.
There’s an important reason you’re working so hard on building your personal brand, right? It’s to give people the best sense of who you are. In the end, a brand means nothing without an audience to receive and interpret it.
Brands aren’t stagnant. They need to constantly be tweaked, reevaluated, and improved. So don’t plan to establish your own personal brand and then allow it to collect cobwebs.
Your personal brand needs to do this exact same thing. Remember to constantly evaluate your brand and make any necessary tweaks, adjustments, and improvements. Much like your own evolvement, branding is a fluid process, leaving room for continuous growth and change.
It can be somewhat counterintuitive to think of yourself like a smartphone, a handbag, or some other product. However, whether you’re job hunting, starting your own business, or simply trying to foster a positive reputation, branding is just as essential for your own professional identity as it is for a product.