Today I want to continue the conversation about Personal Branding. In the first Personal Branding blog - I was talking about the reality that you are communicating a personal brand, whether it is intentional or not. I believe this is the age of personal branding. Look at the tattoo market! I have no plan to get a tattoo, dye my hair pink, or dramatically alter my personal appearance, but I have respect and admiration for those that do those things. These external markings can help as part of personal branding.
The first step in personal branding is defining who you want to be seen to be.
Why do I say “who you want to seen to be?” For example, when I think of personal branding and myself, I have to start with what elements of me do I have to work with for personal branding?
I am multi-faceted - a very busy person with many activities that do not necessarily seem to go together, but it works for me. I’m highly educated but very informal. I have been called a closet introvert. I love philosophy, mathematics, reading, and consuming information on my own. The internet is a wonderland for this part of me. This part of me is not shared with many, – not because I’m hiding it, but because it is a facet of me to which not too many people can relate. Perhaps I’ll do a link blog, for all the interesting sites I visit frequently. Add your favorites to my comment section.
I'm also idealistic and have read hundreds of romance novels, and have even started writing a few. I don't think anyone who knows me would say I'm a bookworm, but reading is a solitary activity, as is writing, until you publish.
I happen to love people – really, almost everyone. Professionally I have been saying for years that I care much less about what I do, than the people I do it with. People are so interesting – much like the internet, when you learn one thing about a person it almost always links to another thing about them, and another. There are very few people that I don’t either actually like or at least find interesting. I seek out defining a brand, a personal brand, for just about everyone I know. Whether they realize it or not, I feel like I know them; that I know who they are. If I know you well, if you ask me what I think, I’ll tell you.
I’m very creative, and my creative side is a builder. I love to look up recipes, but I never follow them. I will use the core parts of the recipe, but then modify it to fit either what ingredients I have on hand, or tweak things to focus on the part I like – extra cheese and bacon please! I love opportunities to collaborate. Let’s do this together.
Personal branding is very similar.
When I’m working on helping someone develop their personal branding, I ask a lot of questions, and then I give them my observation of their current brand and discuss what they like - or do not like about what I observed. I want to help them. One of my clients is a hair stylist and her tagline is “Be your own kind of Beautiful” – I think that is wonderful! It says so much about who she is and how she thinks. She doesn’t have a “sit here and let me do this to you” attitude. She always asks what you want. Her skill is versatile enough to help you look like you want to look – at least within reason. (She has talked my teenager out of scorching her hair with yet another drastic color change.)
Similarly, I want to help you be your personal brand. You are the only you, and lets focus on that!