By Priya Sarkar with K S Ramanan
Let’s take you an ‘info-ride’, a ride with a difference! Here you will get information, there’s something in it for you personally AND… we do it in a fun way!
First up, building your personal brand is not difficult. In the beginning, you will need to define a few things for yourself, figure out how to go about them and keep a check on progress. This is what this series will help you with… show the way and guide your efforts. Over time, it will become so much a part of you, of what you do on a daily basis that it will become practically effortless. Of course, that may be the point for you to up the bar and challenge yourself further!
Why your personal brand? Why the need? Why the investment? Good questions.
In today’s world, we are all professional resources; and I use this term broadly because even the homemaker is doing a job. Like other goods and services in the marketplace, we stand for one proposition or the other–a writer, an artist, a finance specialist, an IT professional, maybe an early, mid or late career professional. The catch is that there are thousands like you who brings the same skills and attributes to work. So, what then is your distinctive factor, what is your identity, what is your specialty?
Imagine cola being sold in the marketplace. In identical bottles, with no branding. Each cola has its own subtly unique taste, but what distinguishes it from the others to a viewer? That’s where brands came in and that’s the power of branding. Your brand is no different. If you have a persona or attributes that define you, make you stand out over the others, become compelling enough for others to reach out to you, help pave the way for your success, you have a brand. And, that is why the focus on your personal brand.
What is your personal brand? A personal brand is not a merchandise label, nor is it a stamp or certificate, but in effect, it’s a number of things that go into making a certain persona. While in the next part, we will help you construct the basic blocks towards building your personal brand, let us de-mystify a personal brand first.
Your personal brand is a sum of the basics (i.e. qualifications, skills, competence), but it’s more about where you envision yourself and about how you play these out. Think about two individuals who have identical basics as above, what will be the distinguishing factors, then? Will it be physical appearance or personal manner or professional attitude or some ‘X’ factor?
While the role of the ‘X’ factor can never be undermined, the distinguishing factors that go into creating your personal brand are largely: attitude, communication skills, physical appearances and consistency in all of these. What you are looking for is that distinctive impression you create, a distinctive mark that you leave behind.
If you caught the word ‘consistency’ in the above para, you know what we are speaking about. As you contemplate your personal reasons to build your brand and walk with us in the next part on how to go about doing it, you will need to make a personal commitment to being consistent.
A brand is not built in a day; you will need to constantly watch if your actions are in tune with your personal vision, you will need to watch for reactions and/or response to your efforts and you will need to watch out if you need to make course corrections. So, there will be an investment of time and effort on your part in doing all of this.
Do you now want to draw parallels to commodity brands? They’re not that different from your personal brand…. We will be applying some of these principles.
Read how it works: Elements of Brands
These W’s sum up the reasons – and maybe, deterrents – for you to begin the ride. Are you onboard? Hop on then for the series!!
- Everybody needs a personal brand – yours can be simple or evolved!
- What are the key elements that go into your brand? What will make you different?
- Your brand requires working at – start the journey only if you can commit to it!
Coming up next week! K S Ramanan’s true story on the case for building a personal brand….