By Priya Sarkar with K S Ramanan
We grew up with the 3 R’s. And because life is a never-ending journey of learning, there again comes a time in life when we need to revisit the 3 R’s!
This time, there is a conscious effort to chart a course that will develop and grow your personal and professional persona. The effort is towards creating your personal brand. We covered the basic blocks in our previous article Building Your Personal Brand: The 3 W’s – Why, What, Watch and now we’re ready to take you on the next stage of this fascinating journey.
Reality Check: Is this me?
It’s natural to aspire to be a Ratan Tata or a Robin Sharma or a Rihanna, but is that really you? And even if you feel strongly that you are meant to assume their attributes, do you really see the right elements in yourself? Do you have that razor-sharp business acumen, are you a thinker-strategist who can guide leaders, are you a gifted singer-performer?
If you have a role model that you aspire towards and you have the key elements that make him/her the brand that they are, then you are on the right path. If you are not sure what to look for, read on –
a) Core elements and attributes – a brand is built on solidity, more so a personal brand. If the basics exist, then you can hone, sharpen and enhance it to emerge like a butterfly from a chrysalis. But, if the basics are not present, then it’s better to accept in good time that you may be able to go only thus far. Changing course to match your authentic self and working on that is the winning option.
b) Commitment – this is also the time to introspect if you feel strongly enough about the time, effort and (maybe) funds that will go into creating your personal brand. Rome was not built in a day! Building a brand – irrespective of the fact whether it’s high profile or just the you that you want the world to see – calls for consistency and commitment; you can’t be one person one day and another the next (unless you consciously want to create a whimsical brand for yourself!), this is not a hop-on-hop-off- bus. So, think carefully if you want to start the journey in one direction or the other
Read further >>>The Case for Brand Authenticity
Roadmap: Building the big picture block-by-block
Any project as important as this will seem daunting to start with. And let’s face it; you can’t attack everything all at once. Think of your personal brand picture like a jigsaw. You have a complete picture before you, and you have the blocks or pieces to recreate that picture. So how do you start?
a) Envision your journey – just as in the completed picture, envision what you want your brand and its journey to be like. Do you want to be a top-notch corporate leader? Do you have the basic pieces in place to get you there? The big things like qualifications, a spring-board to take off, ability for finance, ideas, people management, whatever… then draw that picture in your head and start filling in the gaps.
b) Chunk out the stages – you don’t start a jigsaw randomly; you do it section by section, sorting out relevant pieces and fitting one to the other till it grows bigger. Similarly, draw out the phases of your journey and the attributes you need to display in each phase. As a newbie professional, do you want to stand out among the crowd so that you get picked for the next opportunity? What will help – a winning manner, a can-do attitude, great communication, hard work? Then focus on these 3-4 attributes at this point. As a mid-career professional, do you want to be considered leadership material? Think of the next 3-4 things you need to focus on….
Read further >>>Creating your brand strategy
References: the power of promotion
A brand is as good as the reviews it gets; we all know the power of opinions and advocacy. Even the best products suffer if they are not promoted well or, worse if they are run down. Realize this early on. Once you start to consciously build your brand, concurrently start building your ‘fan base’. Now don’t get us wrong, we are not suggesting that you get cheerleaders or rah rah reviews; just that you need to be mindful of both naysayers and advocates.
Your brand gets amplified if the right people endorse it and vice versa. So, create networks that will not just support your build-up but also give you honest feedback and references. And keep up the work always!
Read further >>>10 Powerful Habits of Building a Personal Brand
Don’t miss it next week! K S Ramanan’s illustrative true-life account of reality versus aspiration.
1. Be real. Do a check on your aspirations v/s your reality… only solidity survives!
2. Create your personal roadmap – chunk out phases of your brand development and related requirements
3. Build strong networks that will support and promote your brand
For coaching and leadership workshops on creating your personal brand roadmap, contact [email protected]