Personal branding is for everybody.
Whether you are a celebrity or a common Juan who celebrates anything, whether you are a top executive or a staff who executes many tasks, whether you think you have it or not – you have it!
The question is not whether you have it or not, the question is whether you take care of it or not.
I define personal brand as how you exude ‘you’ and how others experience ‘you’.
Notice that this definition is a combination of the ingredient of who you are and what others perceive who you are. And the core of your authenticity and uniqueness is so essential.
But before we discuss further, let us answer the question, “Why should you even care?”
While the plain answer could be focused on the peril it may cause your reputation if you don’t take care of it, let me rather give two reasons – the benefits you get when you take command of your personal brand. (Initially, I came up with four but let me reserve the other two. Today, savor the first two!)
First, you can tap your strengths to soar to greater heights.
As you may have deduced from the definition above, personal branding is not just putting on some good clothes that matches your color (though that is a part). To command your personal brand is to look into what your strengths are and build on it. This way, you won’t just go with what’s not really in your lane.
As you go through the journey of establishing your personal brand, you will be able to pinpoint what’s your strengths are and capitalize on them.
Successful men and women teach that you better tap on your strengths rather than work on your weakness. For example, you are good at designing and you are Level 7 at it. When you tap on this and do more designing and in the process you continue to develop it and keep on delivering your designs, eventually you can move three notches up and go to Level 10.
As compared to, say, if people around would say you better go to writing but you are Level 3 at it. Hence, even if you work on it and strive to develop it, you may move three notches up eventually and go to Level 6 but think about it – which would yield greater result, Level 6 or Level 10? It’s a no-brainer, it’s Level 10.
Second, you can clarify your values and have a clearer compass.
The process of establishing your personal brand also involves clarifying your own values. Values they say are your compass. Values guide you whenever you make crucial decisions. Now I understand why my mentor said, “Every decision-making is values-clarification.” Your values are integral part of your being and you cannot go against it. When you go against your core values, you will suffer.
When you clarify your values, you will have a clearer compass. This way, you can make better decisions and take actions with more intention. Think about a decision and action you took where you were not happy and seemed to have experienced an inner conflict. Pause and reflect. Look back and look into it.
Chances are you may have not stayed true to your values. Note that this is not just about good versus bad; it is also about good versus better. In the aspect of good versus better, this goes along with the hierarchy of your values.
For example, Lily values expression over acceptance. In a certain situation, she suddenly chose to simply shut up just to be accepted by the group. What do you think this action would lead to in the personal experience of Lily? What if she decided to express her stand (with due tactfulness in her heart and her poise), would it make a better difference for her and for the group?
Having a clear compass would not just benefit you but also the people around you.
Again, personal branding is not just about what others see in your profile online or simply what clothes you wear at work (though these are parts of personal branding and should also be looked into and carefully managed), it rather starts from the inside. This way, you will gain a total benefit.
So why should you even care about your personal brand? Let me ask you: How much do you care about yourself and others?
Live your life, young mind!
(Chris Dao-anis aims to empower his fellow young minds with practical instruction and inspiration in the fields of communication and personal leadership (including personal branding). He is an author, trainer and speaker. For talks, seminars and speech coaching, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest book ‘Living Large in the Little Things’ is available at Mt. Cloud Bookshop, Casa Vallejo, Upper Session Road and at Psalms Bookstore (at Sunshine) in Baguio City. Other options are available at www.chrispoweracademy.com/livinglarge.)