Discovering and Developing Your Personal Brand

Image courtesy of markus spiske's photostream

Image courtesy of markus spiske’s photostream

In today’s business world a personal brand is a very powerful tool that is essential to establishing yourself in a very competitive professional landscape. Rapidly changing technology, the proliferation of digital media and the expanding borders of our world make it imperative for you to brand yourself as leader. Here are a few things to think about when discovering what you want your personal brand to be as you begin this important and exciting journey.

Be Authentic: When thinking about how to establish your personal brand and then translate that across multiple platforms, the absolute first thing to keep in mind is to present your authentic self. People who know you and interact with you on a daily basis have an idea of who you are as an individual. They understand your interests, what motivates you and what your passions are in life and business. Staying true to who you are is paramount to begin building your personal brand and, most importantly, sustaining that brand over the long haul.

Don’t try to be someone you’re not, because it won’t be too long before you run out of ways to provide relevant content and you will ultimately find yourself with little to offer your audience. That’s a huge disservice to not only your audience, but you and all you have to offer.

Be Specific. Be Different: When cultivating (yes, that’s exactly what you’re doing) your personal brand, be specific. The more honed your message is, the more you will become a recognized thought leader and influencer. Some people can be good at many things, but what’s going to get you traction is being GREAT at one thing. That’s when you begin to build a following and build lasting, meaning relationships based upon trust. Suddenly, you’re building networks and that is extremely powerful in today’s world. Fast track those networks to alliances that can result in profitable wins.

Being a trailblazer isn’t a bad thing either, especially with all of the noise that inundates our inboxes and daily lives. There’s only one you, so let what’s unique about you be a big part of your brand. What does that mean? It’s your look, your voice, your content… I could go on; because your personal brand is a direct result of everything you touch and a permanent representation of you out in this great, big world we live in.

Be Committed: Once you’ve discovered, carefully developed and launched your personal brand out into the wide world, now the real work – sustaining that brand. Don’t kid yourself; maintaining your personal brand takes time. It’s an investment, but investing in yourself and your future is a safe bet. On that note, I’ll leave you with this quote from the author that coined Personal Branding…. Way back in 1997. Some things change, but some things will never change.

“Today brands are everything, and all kinds of products and services—from accounting firms to sneaker makers to restaurants—are figuring out how to transcend the narrow boundaries of their categories and become a brand surrounded by a Tommy Hilfiger-like buzz. Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” Tom Peters

AboutMichele Cardello

Michele Cardello joined Proforma in April of 2014. Prior to joining Proforma, Michele spent 17 years in the Professional Photography industry as a senior executive specializing in Marketing & Sales. Michele is excited to begin a new journey as Proforma’s Director of Strategic Partner Development, which is great, because she loves to travel, explore new surroundings and read (lots of time to read when traveling!)

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