Why You Need to Build Your Own Personal Brand

Illustration by istockphoto.com
Illustration by istockphoto.com

When you have a strong Personal Brand…

  1. You have more confidence and energy in your work.
  2. You consistently position and sell yourself better.
  3. You get a professional advantage.

In this month’s business leadership webinar, we covered how to translate your personal brand into value that other recognize. Here are some of the things we covered in the webinar:

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What’s the advantage?

  • More confidence and energy. Having a strong personal brand makes you feel more confident because you’ll use it to always put your best foot forward. You will feel less defensive, and more decisive in difficult situations.
  • Sell yourself better. We talked about how your Personal Brand gives you the speaking points to be very clear about why people should value what you offer, and get that across quickly, clearly and consistently.
  • Professional advantage. The most successful people have a knack for being able to talk their way into good situations. Because your brand gives you certainty about how to position yourself, you will be more persuasive and influential more of the time. That’s good for advancing, selling, and negotiating.

Your current brand

  • You have “brand” today. You have a Personal Brand right now whether you know it or not. Do you know what it is? Do you know what are you known for? Is it want you want it to be?
  • Behaviors and consistency. Aristotle once said: Excellence is a habit, not an act. Your brand is granted to you by others based on the behaviors they experience from you most consistently. We talked about how to build your brand through behaviors.

Building your brand

  • Build on your strengths. The best way to build your brand is to start with your natural strengths. As humans we tend to undervalue our strengths. We discussed why that is, how to overcome this, and how to zero in on your natural strengths and build them in to your brand.
  • Be YOU. Your Personal Brand should be based on who you actually are, not a marketing-version of some other person you think you should be. It needs to be something you can live up to consistently. So if you define your brand with a big gap to reality, it will never actually be your brand because you won’t do it.
  • Find the intersection. To translate your brand into what others will value, you need to get to know what is important to your audience, and tune how you speak about and behave your brand values to align with what they care about.
  • Define your playbook. A big part of putting your brand into action is to focus on your playbook. We all have one. Think about what you did the same in every job you ever had. We talked about examples of personal brand playbooks and how to create and use them.

Using your brand

  • Work in your power alley. Part of the reason that having a strong brand gives you more confidence and energy is because when you combine it with your playbook, you end up working in your power alley. You are doing great at what you are good at and it feels great.
  • Your brand and interviewing. Think about the power this brings to an interview. You can quickly establish your credibility. You build confidence in yourself and your prospect when you can articulate why you are good at what you are good at, and give compelling examples from your playbook of being at your best. No stumbling!

Your brand and your company’s brand

  • Does your brand ever change? Your core Brand values don’t change much, but the story at the intersection changes depending on your company or customers’ culture and what they value.
  • What if you don’t fit? If you feel like your brand does not mesh with the culture of your company this can be painful. In the discussion I gave some examples of how to use your Brand to put you on the high ground and go counter-culture in a productive way.

This was originally published on Patty Azzarello’s Business Leadership Blog. Her new book is Rise: How to be Really Successful at Work and LIKE Your Life.

Patty Azzarello is the founder and CEO of Azzarello Group. She's also an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/business advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35, and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk). You can find her at patty@azzarellogroup.com .

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