Thursday, October 15, 2015

Are you a BRAND ?

“If you don’t show up on Google, you don’t exist!”

The statement above is as true and scary as it sounds. How people perceive you has always been vital to a successful career. Now with the internet, social media, and the unrelenting purr of 24x7 businesses, the ability to brand and promote yourself effectively has become absolutely essential. No matter how talented or skilled you are, unless you are visible to the key players in your industry, or until managers can see your talent and think of you as an invaluable employee, a game-changer, or a person whose name is synonymous with success, you don’t exist. So, how do you stand out and get ahead?

This is where Personal Branding comes to our rescue. It is about marketing the product “you” by figuring out –
  1. What your values, skills, and passions really are
  2. Who you want to help, and What makes you different from others
  3. If you want to have a great personal brand, it also needs to be memorable, consistent and help you achieve all of your personal and professional goals.
So, how to go about creating a truly memorable brand?

Discover your Brand

The first step in creating a memorable personal brand is to discover yourself, who you really are and what you really want to achieve. This can often be the hardest and the most time consuming part, but a strong start on this can make all the difference in the long run. You will need to consider what you want to gain from your brand and this starts at basic needs such as financial success, but also includes what your actual dreams are for your brand and what some day you wish to be proud of.

Next are your values - the core principles that drive you forward, they are the standards that you set for yourself, surrounding your actions and attitude. Another important factor in your brand is your passion. What are you passionate about? What will keep your energy levels up and determine how you spend most of your time?

Having a Brand statement is the next step. This is important in order to set a bar for yourself that you know you can't fall below, but it also allows others to see where you are coming from and what your brand stands for. 

Strengths and personal attributes can be interconnected. Your strengths are the abilities and interests that create a consistent positivity in your life in some way. These are the strengths that you must use to get your brand out there and really sell it apart. This also ties into your education and experience. These are often secondary but can lead you to gain more trust from potential clients or customers, or even colleagues.

You also need to research your competitors and find out what makes you unique. What can you do that others can't? What are you passionate about that others see as essential? This will set you apart.

Building your Brand and Creating Buzz

One of the most important things you need to figure out for your brand is your target audience. You will need to create a statement to this effect so that anyone interested in your brand will know exactly why you are unique and important.

Note – Your brand is a representation of yourself and vice-versa. It is essential that you are honest with yourself and honest about what your brand is about. Honesty is the real strength behind any brand.

You can use a number of Brand Building Tools to showcase your Brand – Business Cards, email ID, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some of the prominent brand building tools that aid creating buzz about your personal brand among your target audience.

“Your personal brand is what people say about you, when you have left the room.” – Jeff Bezos (Founder & CEO – Amazon)

- Mr. Sumit Chakravarty
   Faculty, INLEAD

Images Courtesy- Google Images 

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