Your personal brand is how you portray yourself to the world. It can encompass a variety of characteristics including:
Your physical appearance, personal style and even body language. Your abilities, your strengths, anything you may be “known” for. Your verbal and written communication styles and of course your personality. Even the values to which you live are part of your overall brand.
How would you characterise your boss, best friend, favourite celebrity? What you are describing contributes to their personal brand.
Start thinking about what your personal brand is; try to identify the characteristics that make you who you are and how you portray yourself to the outside world. What would be the three words that others would use to describe you? What is your career niche? What are you known for? What makes YOU you?
Developing a strong personal brand is essential; it defines who you are to the outside world and will not only help you score that perfect job but also assists in achieving promotion and other opportunities such as team lead development exposure and also changes in career. A strong personal brand is equally as important in achieving a whole world of personal goals such as establishing your own business, securing opportunities to work abroad and assisting in various work and life transitions.
It’s not only important to maintain a strong personal brand in person, your online presence also needs to reflect your efforts. Organised, up-to-date and professional social media profiles demonstrate maturity, professionalism and good judgement! By no means are you supposed to lose sight of your own personality and style but always be mindful of how your semi-naked beach photo as your new profile picture or the "funny" joke status your other half posted may be perceived by others, not least prospective employers who often vet social media pages prior to making an offer. Make sure you either keep your pages totally private or make sure you (and your friends) respect your need to maintain a professional image at all times to the outside world, particularly when job hunting / trying to get onto that sought-after course / securing that vital contract with a new client, and the list goes on!
A great, memorable first impression is essential in establishing your brand and continues to develop with each interaction you have. Personal brands are constantly developing as you do, both consciously and unconsciously. It’s important to always be aware of how you’re presenting yourself in any situation and whether this is how you want yourself perceived or interpreted. You have the power to shape your brand and as long as you stay true to yourself and are consistent in what you do you will be successful!