Personal branding

Did you know that you are a brand, and a unique one at that?

People are brands and brands are like people. There may be lots of human beings around, but there’s only one of you. You’re a one off, at least until cloning is legalised.

Personal branding – marketing yourself as a brand is hot news in the United States and often the UK follows the U.S.A. with trends. So how is personal branding relevant to you? First, let’s examine what is a brand and why they exist.

A brand is a product or service with a personality, which occupies a territory in people’s minds. Every time they interact with it, for example a service like Alton Towers or a product like Heinz baked beans, they hopefully have a consistent and positive experience which builds the relationship they have with the brand and their affinity to it. Equally if they have a negative experience, their attachment to the brand is lessened and they start to consider other choices.

A brand’s territory which can be real or imaginary, functional or emotional is something that is desired, e.g. Virgin ‘The People’s champion.‘

The brand’s personality makes it interesting, appealing and relevant to us so that we seek it out, select it over other choices and often pay a premium for it. It has a clear raison d’être and wanting to choose it gives us one less thing to think about in a myriad of overwhelming choices.

Apply the same principles to human beings in life, work and business and the same is true. We all want to be chosen in work, in business, in love, in friendships. We need to stand out and stand for something relevant and desired or we’ll get overlooked and left behind.

In business, we all need to market ourselves to give us an edge over our ‘competitors’; within our companies if employed, at interviews if seeking new employment and with our contacts if self employed.

We all have unique skills and talents, some we were born with and others we acquire along the way. What we don’t want to stand for is blandness, or we’ll be left standing while our competitors leap over or even tread on us.

So how do you market yourself as a brand? Simply work through the following 10 steps, either by yourself or with the help of an experienced coach.

  1. What’s your desired outcome from this exercise?
  2. Who are the people who you want to influence, i.e. your target audiences?
  3. What’s really important to you in life?
  4. What are your skills?
  5. What are your personal qualities?
  6. What are your unique talents?
  7. What sums up what makes you different to your competitors? (your USP)
  8. What are the needs and problems of your target audiences?
  9. How can you help solve the problems of your target audiences using your skills, personal qualities and unique talents?
  10. How can you express your USP utilising all your senses, consistently and impactfully?

Often people are so close to themselves that they forget or cannot see what makes them great or unique. This is especially true with the modest and self-depreciating British!  This is why it can be useful to work with an objective coach who holds up a ‘metaphorical mirror’ so that you can see things clearly.

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My personal brand is ‘The Talent Liberator’. What will your personal brand be?

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