This post is part two of a three part series that gives you the information you need to create a cohesive personal brand. This article is meant to help you identify your own personal brand. The third part of this series will show you how to consciously adjust your brand as it grows.
Every time you use a label to identify someone, such as “soccer player,” “hypocrite” or “techie,” you are referring to them by their brand name. At first glance, these categories are just labels, but a deeper look uncovers the brand these individuals have either consciously or unconsciously built for themselves. Also, keep in mind, for small or micro businesses, your personal brand is often the same as your business brand.
Are you aware of your own personal brand? Having trouble figuring out what people think of you? Try these three strategies to uncover something deeper about the perception the world has of you and your brand.
- Face the music. Ask around. It is very hard for you to know how others view you without actually asking them what they think. If you want a soft-edged answer, ask your friends and colleagues what words they would use to describe you. If you want something a little more honest (read: less emotionally based), ask your employees. Ask these people what they think your strengths and weaknesses are and pay attention to the first few words they choose to describe you.
As an example: Josephine is a yoga instructor, a health and wellness coach, and starting her own lifestyle management company. Josephine does most of her work in a co-working space and asks one of her colleagues, Katrina, what she thinks about her. Katrina instantly responds, “Josephine you are very energetic and I love how dedicated you are to creating a holistic life brand.” The words “energetic”, “dedicated”, and “holistic” are “brand terms” that say something about Josephine’s personal brand.
- Know that you are unique. Identify your “specialty” skills. What skills do you have that are considered rare in your environment? Do you speak French or Mandarin where Spanish and English are most common? Are you the only one on your team that doesn’t have a minor panic attack at the thought of public speaking? These rare skills differentiate your brand from others. Seek them out and uncover them.
- Be honest with yourself. Analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. Take some self-reflection time and journal for 15 minutes today. Use this exercise to list all of your traits. There is no right or wrong way to do this, just let a stream of consciousness flow out of you and write freely. At the end of the 15 minutes, you will find that a few traits really stand out, or maybe you have used different words to describe the same thing. For example—my list consisted of ambitious, opinionated, passionate, positive, driven, giving, responsible, and motivated. All these words point to the fact that I am a self-driven, hardworking person. “Self-driven” and “hardworking” are also the traits that I would like to stand out in my business.
Personal brand names, which often overlap with your business brand, are important to identify because your brand could actually be working against you and there is no way to know this otherwise. Also, you must know your brand first before making it better.
Now that you know what a brand is, and how to identify your own, in the next article you will learn how to adjust your brand to the best and truest depiction of you and your company.
Would you like to learn more about how to determine your own brand? Are you interested in speaking with Michelle directly on how to build a community of customers and followers online? Reach out to Marketing Like A Millennial on Facebook, tweet at us on Twitter, or send us an email and tell us more about your business!