This blog post is for executives, entrepreneurs and anybody else who needs to be visible and therefore requires a personal public persona.
What is your YOUR PERSONAL IMAGE AND PERSONAL BRAND – Whether you like it or not, in this digital age, everybody has a personal brand. If you have an account online such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, then you already have a personal brand. A personal brand is the way in which people perceive you, and it’s your online reputation. Undoubtedly, people will judge you on how they see you online. If you apply for a job, your future employer will Google you, and they will judge you according to what they find.
So what is personal branding?
What is a personal image?
What is your purpose for creating a brand?
All said, we ARE, ourselves, a brand. But we don’t think of ourselves in this way; we only think of ourselves as family members, a members of a profession, part of a community, or the like.
Your personal image is how people perceive you at a glance. Thus, it’s the way you dress, the way you look, the way you behave, the way you communicate, etc. Finally, people only look at your appearance to get a first impression of whether they like you or not. That is your personal image. Therefore, a personal image is not a personal brand, because without a strategy, all you have is a personal image.
Personal branding is different. It is what people think of you over the long term. When they say your name, what word comes to mind? What is their opinion of you? When you are not in the room, what they are saying about you? This is your reputation, as well as your brand.
If people ask, “What do you think about Maria?” people might say she is a smart, kind and responsible woman or a messy, irresponsible and selfish woman. That’s precisely why we need to create our personal brand intentionally. A personal brand is not a person. A personal brand is a public awareness of certain aspects of that person. For example, it could be their personality, skill or value; it’s not the entire person. A personal brand is not about who you are, but rather how you are perceived.
There aren’t many people who actually know you, if you think about it, maybe only your close friends and family do. Most people only know your personal brand. They probably have a rough idea of your personality and your value, but they don’t really know you, so you are not a brand, you are a person who projects your brand. That is a key distinction between personal image and personal brand. Likewise, if you are an entrepreneur, you are projecting your brand on your company.
A personal brand is not your personal image; a personal brand is not a person, but rather, it’s a clarification of (reflection on) your business.
So what exactly is personal branding? It is creating a unique identity around a leading attribute and managing the impression of your audience to make them feel a certain way about you, your service and the product that you can offer, just like a product brand. A great personal brand pre-sells people on you, making them aware of your character, strengths and personality, even if they have never met you. A great personal brand does not necessarily attract sales, but instead, attracts power. A personal brand creates the power to influence decision, attitude and action for the audience.
Photography by Madads
Hair, Make-up and Professional Image Styling by Edith Chan Image Consulting
Everything you do affects your personal brand: the way you walk, the way you talk, the way you dress, the way you sell, the way you negotiate and the way you meet your obligations. Even your education, your profession, your neighbourhood, your choice of spouse, friends, house, and car reflect on your personal brand. When people talk about you, you want to be known as someone who follows through, gets things done and keeps their promises. On the contrary, you do not want the reputation of someone who shows up late, does not meet their obligations and doesn’t fulfill their promises. In the same way, your customer service, your personal presentation skills and your dedication to your commitments are key.
The mental picture people have of you, what other people say when you leave the room and almost everything you do, affects your personal brand.
Your image is the first step towards building your personal brand. Does your personal and professional image deliver the right message?
Ready to create your personal image to develop your own personal brand?
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