What Does Your Brand Communicate
What is your personal brand?
Whether you realize it or not, we all have a personal brand. Your brand is what makes you, you. But it also encompasses the impression others have about you. So what is your personal brand?
I work with many women who struggle with describing what their personal brand is and what that says about them. When my clients tell me how they want to change careers, start a business or be considered for a promotion, I typically ask them, “How are you showing up and do you act the part?”
Your brand needs to reflect your best qualities and will bring you the success you deserve.
Here are some tips to make sure your brand is communicating what you want:
1. Understand what you want your brand to communicate.
There are a lot of powerful brands out there but just because it looks good on someone else doesn’t mean it is meant for you. Your brand should not be a copy of someone else but you can look to someone else’s brand to fully understand what you want your brand to say about you.
Consider keeping a leadership brand journal. This is a place where you can write about people you admire. This will make you more conscious of how you want people to see you. Also write out the leadership characteristics you admire. Work on the characteristics that you need to and hone those characteristics. Visualize the kind of leader you want to be
2. “Rebuild” Your Brand
Once you understand what your brand is (or rather what you want it to be), you need to do an assessment to see if that is what you are communicating. Start by surveying people you interact with and get feedback on how they view you. If their perception of you does not align with what you think it should, look for ways to rebuild or rebrand.
One way to do this is by managing your appearances. Make sure when people see you, you are always showing up great. This doesn’t mean you always have to be dressed to the nines or face complete with makeup and lashes, but you do want to make sure you won’t be embarrassed if you are running out to pick up dry cleaning or getting gas and see a co-worker or one of your clients.
As a working mom, I was notorious for running out to pick up kids or grabbing something from the grocery store with some sweats on and my hair not curled. (However, I am not one of the moms who goes to the child’s school with a bonnet on my head and pajama bottoms.) After doing this a few times and people commenting that they barely recognized me, I realized that although it may be convenient and easy, I wasn’t doing myself any favors by showing up “less than” my best. I knew I needed to put at least a little bit of effort into by appearance before I left the house.
So, I had a stylist come in and help me organize my closet in a way that I have some easy “run out the house” wardrobe ideas. Something quick I can throw on without looking like I just threw it on. She also got me an “on the go” bag that I can keep in my car. It has some lip gloss, a comb, lotion and mouthwash. This way no matter how much of a hurry I am in, I can do a little touch up and always show up great while I am in public.
3. Brand Your Expertise and Let It Shine
We all have tremendous assets that we can share with the world. Whatever those assets are you need to nurture them, invest in them and publicize them so that you become known for them. It is not enough for you to know what you know but others need to know that you know it. Becoming a known expert will help support your brand and help people to view you the way you want.
Make sure you are mindful to the way you show up online. Your online presence (or lack thereof) can influence people’s perception of you. If you have not done so recently, google yourself and see what come up on you. Knowing what people see about you in an online search is critical to managing your personal brand.
We all have a personal brand, whether you realize it or not. If your brand is not what you want, you can redefine how you see yourself and how others see you. Always keep in mind how you show up, how others perceive you, what you know and who knows it and what your online presence says about you. Be consistent with what you put out there and remember to be yourself.
A powerful personal brand will help you achieve your personal and professional goals and give you the confidence to shine in all you do.