Friday, December 5, 2014

Creating a Success Mindset - Part 2

5 Key Characteristics of a Stellar Personal Brand

The rise of social media has made it more important than ever to have your own personal brand. Like a product brand, your personal brand tells people who you are and what value you bring to the world. Your personal brand is your reputation and it's essential to take control of it, whether you're a growing business or a job hunter.

There are 5 key characteristics that your brand needs to be:

1. Unique

Uniqueness is key because your brand needs to set you apart from everybody else. However, you don't want to force uniqueness by trying to be something that you're not. Instead, look for your natural qualities that are unique to you. Don't create it; discover it. What is your passion? What are you particularly good at? What makes you different? Look for the things you don't see in others.

2. Clear

Make sure that everything you produce shouts out loud and clear what it is you do, what value you offer, and how you're unique. Don't make people think about it and don't be subtle. Tell the world what it needs to know about you in as few carefully-chosen words as possible.

3. Consistent

All of your actions should be consistent with your brand image. You'll become known for something that you always do and you shouldn't stray too far from it. When you're consistent, it shows that you're reliable, and this helps to establish your credibility. When you're inconsistent, this creates a disconnect that's not conducive to branding. Although you should be consistent, remember that your personal brand isn't static. It should evolve over time. 

4. Personal

The personality of a business brand is more important to its
fans than its actual products or services. This is no different for your personal brand. Show your personality as much as possible, especially when interacting with people online. Most people want to be seen as a friendly, generous, helpful expert. Spend your time connecting with others and learning from them.

5. Memorable

Memorability is probably the most important characteristic needed for personal branding. Even if you're the world's greatest blogger, if no one remembers your name ten seconds later, your branding has failed. Highlight a small number of attributes or skills and don't try to be the master at everything. These few things that you really excel at will become linked to you in the minds of others. Be brazenly different and go against the grain. It will make you a leader, rather than a follower.

Personal branding is a relatively new concept and there isn't a textbook that tells you how to do it. The best way to work on your brand is to watch and learn. Identify those who brand themselves well and follow them. Study what they do and learn to do it yourself. Pay especially close attention to how their words and actions are consistent, clear, unique, personal and memorable.

Should You Be Yourself? Your Personality and Your Personal Brand

When people discuss personal branding, they always tell you to be yourself. They say that the unique personality shining through your work helps to brands you. But for most of us, it's scary to reveal too much. It's just like going to a party where you don't know anyone and wondering what to say or do. In the back of your mind, you're saying, “But what if they don't like me?”
How to Be Real
The experts are right – you should be yourself. Your personality, along with your promise of value and quality, brands you. You should share your family, your hobbies, and your opinions. This makes you unique and memorable. It builds a relationship with your audience and the details of your personal life may resonate with your fans.
Online, people want only realness and sincerity. They don't like anything fake, and they can smell it from a mile away. When you're playing a part and they know it, this won't build the trust you need. It also turns you into someone who doesn't take a firm stand on anything, which is terrible for branding.

What If They Hate You?

If you're afraid to let the ‘real you’ show, that's only natural. But you need to show your personality. It’s like dipping your toe into a cold swimming pool to get used to it. Put something out there and see how your audience responds to it. Do you get likes and folks commenting? Or do they all ignore the post?

Branding is about connecting with your audience, so monitor the results of what you do and adjust accordingly. If you show them pictures of your kids and they go crazy with the comments, keep it up. If you tell them about your passion for stamp collecting and get only z's, don't bother mentioning it again.

Be on Brand

Before you share anything too personal, take a minute to consider what potential effect it might have. For example, is it a touchy political or religious subject that may alienate half of your audience? Or is it harmless? Imagine the worst that could happen and ask yourself if you could live with it.
Run everything through a filter to see if it sounds fake or could be taken the wrong way. It's okay to take some risks sometimes, but you should wait until your brand is well-established. Another thing that helps is to really know your audience well.

It's Not About You
Here's a big secret about personal branding that will save you a lot of trouble – It's not all about you. Actually, your branding efforts are all about your audience. Even though you're showcasing your accomplishments, your talents, your strengths, and your passions, it's your promise to them that's going to pay off. For everything you do, put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself, “Why should I care?” That's what they'll be doing.

What really establishes your brand isn't the image that you create or the personal tidbits you share; it's the work that you do. When you deliver quality and truly help people, you'll successfully brand yourself.



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