5 Steps Toward Personal Branding

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
— Jeff Bezos – Founder of Amazon.com

To put it in the simplest way possible; branding is what people think of you.

Now, why should you care about what people think of you?

In fact, whether we admit it or not, our social image and social conduct affect how people perceive us; and how people perceive us, consequently, affects our relationship with them.
Therefore, the extent to which you should care about people’s perception is ruled by how much you care about your relationship with them. If it’s a business relation, then it is ruled by how much benefit you will get from it. Hence, people’s perception of us can be critical at times, and thus it becomes essential to build a proper personal brand.

How many times have you looked up people on Google, Facebook, or LinkedIn before doing business with them? Why do you think that is?

This doesn’t mean that we don’t look up companies or visit company websites anymore, but today, the technological evolution of social media has drawn bigger attention toward individuals. And most of the time, our decision to work with someone is based on our readings of their character and their personal brand. Hence, you might want to give a good likable and distinguished image of you while avoiding being misunderstood or misinterpreted.

How to build your personal brand? 5 Steps.

  1. Determine your personal brand. Your personal brand is determined by why you need it. And sometimes this need is determined by what you do for a living. Certain traits are needed for certain tasks, you have to find the traits you need and put them on your to-do list. 
  2. Find out how people see you. You could ask friends, family or acquaintances to describe how they perceive you mentioning all positives and negatives. Answers will vary depending on how deeply they know you. If it occurs that several persons describe something that you know you’re not, it means that you’re sending the wrong signals. Therefore, you have to start working on how to display just what suits your brand in order to be in control of how people see you. 
  3. Fill the gap. You now have a to-do list against a list of how people see you. Find the gaps between the two lists and make amends. Make the needed changes in your conduct that better fulfill your brand. 
  4. Assess your brand. After having changed toward fulfilling your brand, repeat step 2 to assess wether you have fulfilled step 3 and that you ultimately achieved the desired personal brand. Now assess your brand itself (go back to step 1). Is it as rewarding as you thought it would be? 
  5. Repeat. Keep in mind that this is an ongoing process; you don’t just do it once and for all. Always keep an eye on your personal brand. 
“It takes many good deeds to build good reputation, and only one bad deed to lose it.”
— Benjamin Franklin

Building a personal brand does not mean pretending to be someone you’re not. In fact, what I’m urging you to do is to grow into the person you desire. Make real changes, give it the needed effort to truly become your brand. Make changes in the right direction; a direction toward better achievement. After all, fake won’t last and it will cost you your reputation.

Author: Lama Lawand