What is Personal Branding?
You are probably aware of the term “Corporate Branding” when looking at a company’s products and promotions – think of Coca Cola, McDonalds, Chanel or BMW. Personal Branding is all about those small details that make you unique AND how others perceive you.
I work with individuals and small business owners to maximise their potential. We look at how they are seen by their peers, their existing customers and their potential clients. Big and small companies will spend inordinate amounts of money on their logo, website, brochures, business cards, advertising, social media presence etc. BUT then these companies forget about investing in themselves or their employees! Very often as a small business owner you are the face of the business and literally the personification of that carefully crafted corporate brand.
In all our communication with other people we will make an impression on them – so let’s make it a positive impression! An easy way to “control” this is to create a “uniform” for yourself &/or your staff. Whether this is a defined set of clothes, a branded t-shirt or a dress code; it provides an element of continuity and consistency because a standard has been set.
Personal Branding isn’t just about what you wear.
Although obviously from a visual point of view it is the quickest way of making a judgement about people. Personal Branding can include your voice, your words, your voice mail, your email, your smile and your handshake. This is all before we get to your clothes!
All of these elements help create your personal brand. It is therefore important that you are always seen as being consistent and congruent as this makes you appear believable and trustworthy.
To give you an example of how this works. I once went to an interesting one day event about building visibility in my business and how, if I followed their system I would be hugely successful. There were a number of speakers on stage during the day all purporting to be very wealthy. HOWEVER none of them (except for one person) looked like they had money! Their grooming was poor; whilst their clothes looked old and shabby.
Now you might think that I was being hypercritical and shallow as these things don’t matter because their advice and expertise was more important. However it placed an element of doubt in my mind and so I didn’t believe that the full course they were offering, would deliver what was being promised. Because of what I do, I knew that this was why I made my decision but this doubt may subconsciously have stopped other people investing as well.
What to consider when you create your Personal Branding
- How do you want to be seen by others?
- If you run your own business what are your corporate brand values? This is also applicable if you are employed.
- Choose 3 – 5 words that would represent these values and how would these words look and sound?
For example, if your words are: “professional”, “friendly” and “successful”, you are unlikely to be believed if you are wearing dirty, scruffy clothes with unwashed hair – even if you do have a fabulous website!
It may seem superficial, but we all make value judgements about people every day – either consciously or unconsciously. This is often because we don’t have the time to make more than a snap decision about someone.
So what is your Personal Branding saying about you today….?
If you would like help perfecting your Personal Brand consider booking yourself a Style Shift Session.
Or join my next Style Success Programme and discover the clothes that reflect who you truly are.
I also speak about the importance of Personal Branding – either as a short presentation or half day workshop.