Day 2: Where do I get a ‘Personal Brand’?

The simple answer to this question is: You Don’t.

You already have one, but what matters is whether you are aware of it or not.  For example, I have a very stylish, fashion conscious friend, (she works in the fashion industry) who regardless of all the other trends, always manages to incorporate some sort of scarf into her look, whether winter or summer, wool or silk etc.  It is part of her signature look – her personal brand.  She is aware of it and uses it because everyone she gets to know, is aware that she will always look fabulous and wear a scarf. 

If you use any forums with your work or hobbies, chances are you will have an avatar or a signature line which works just like the Nike “Just Do It” slogan.  It is part of your personal brand.

 Another colleague of mine has a reputation for doing things ‘by the book’.  They are very flexible, efficient and highly successful, but if it is not in the handbook or procedures, they are reticent to do it.  It helps that this particular ‘book’ works very well.

These small examples don’t mean that much on their own, but when combined with each other, image, communication and reputation, they create a brand presence that is recognisable when used repetitively to reinforce the ‘content’ of your messages to the outside world, whether with your CV, interviews, job applications and so on.

One comment which I have received in the past from organisations recruiting for staff that demonstrates the importance of a consistent personal brand is:

They were totally different at the second interview than at the first.

Now, each case where this comes up has to be looked at individually, so that things like different interviewers and even the weather (think about the effect that disasterous wet hair/clothing/sodden boots etc can have on your mood) can be taken into account, however, where these things are not the cause for the differences in what happened at the interview, it is inconsistent personal branding that confuses interviewers.

Questions to ask yourself:

  1. Is my personal brand consistently communicated?
  2. Does my brand match my aspirations?
  3. Is it an accurate representation of me and what I stand for?
  4. Do I think about my brand regularly?

PS:  100 days of posting is great when you have a consistent internet connection!  When you don’t it looks like it might stretch for a little while longer …..

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