Like it or not, this is your personal brand. You can say anything you want about yourself, but it’s what others say about you when you are not around that ends up being the true value of what you are worth to your family, friends, colleagues and customers.
Personal Branding is the application of brand building principles to human behaviors. It is the process of skills building in four unique areas: Increased Self-Awareness, Stand-Out Communication, Consistency of Actions, and Unique Value Differentiation.
Personal branding is the promotion, education and sustainability of the unique value and purpose that differentiates you from your colleagues and competitors. Without it, you are simply your title, your company and your function. With it, you are a marketable product of unique value that stands out from the crowd.
When the world or your company knows who you are and what you stand for, your brand becomes more valuable. When your brand is more valuable, people want you on their team. When you are wanted, your company and the clients you serve are much more willing to pay and promote you for your differentiation.
No matter your career, your level of expertise, your industry or your role, it’s time to take ownership of your reputation, focus on the unique value you bring to the world, and take a stand for your brand.
You cannot be everything to everyone, so determining your strengths and promoting what you do better than anyone else will allow you to reach your full potential as an individual and as part of a team.
When you develop a strong personal brand, it immediately increases the value of your team and your company. As a leader, salesperson or customer service representative, you are the face of your brand. But, nowadays, with social media allowing anyone to talk to the world at any given moment, any employee, partner or customer can be the face of a company, just as much as the CEO.
Everything that you do or say is a reflection on the people around you. My wife and I always tell our kids as they walk out the door every morning for school or every time they step on the athletic field, “make good choices” because every action or communication not only represents who they are in the world; they are also a direct reflection on our family, their teams and each of their teammates. Your reputation and personal brand value either increases or decreases the value of your team.
Companies spend an incredible amount of time, effort and money to get their identity, messaging, and unique value proposition just right. But, the moment they launch their new campaign, product or service, increasing the value of the brand becomes the responsibility of the people who directly interact with the customer. Nurse, salesperson, waitress, financial advisor, teacher, CEO, data analyst…it really doesn’t matter who you are; we all serve a customer.
Companies that recognize and support the power of personal branding understand that they cannot force people to represent the company brand unless there is alignment between the values of the person, the leaders, the team and the organization. Companies that acknowledge and promote the strengths and brands of individuals, build better teams and, ultimately, a successful organization with a positive culture.
If everyone on your team understood and developed their own strong and aligned personal brand, imagine the recognition and accomplishments in store for that team. And, if every team in your company invested in building stronger personal and team brands, imagine the ultimate success of the entire company.
Companies that invest in brand training for their people see a return far greater than compliance. These companies see greater revenue, less turnover and more innovation, further increasing the brand value of the company.
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