Step #2 – Personal Brand
Personal branding is the practice of you marketing yourself and your career as brands. The personal branding concept suggests that success comes from self-packaging. Personal branding, self-positioning and all individual branding concepts by whatever name, were first introduced in 1937 in the book “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill.
The term, however, is thought to have been first used and discussed in a 1997 article called “The Brand Called You” by Tom Peters.
“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~ Tom Peters
I’ve always loved Tom Peters. I read his book “In Search Of Excellence” when I was a young corporate woman in Australia. His message of excellence is still how I seek to run my businesses and be for my clients.
Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing who you are, your skills and your strengths and then being very consistent in your delivery of them into the world.
What then, is YOUR Personal Brand?
“A good personal brand combines both strength and warmth.” ~ Ellen Looyen
Ellen Looyen is a global personal branding specialist. In her book “Branded for Life”, she tells a story of two corporate executives and how they came to define their personal brand.
Strength and warmth, a combination of seeming opposites, a divine marriage between things that don’t seem to mix. This could be defined as needing to balance masculine and feminine polarity also. Understanding polarity is so essential when finding your personal brand position.
The need for both strength and warmth is required to give your clients both confidence in you i.e. that you can get the job done, that they can trust your expertise as a coach or mentor, that you will follow through and that you know your sh!t;
And warmth, so that they feel you as human, real, even vulnerable. They want to know that you have trodden this path before them.
“Personal Brands are felt” says Looyen.
Your personal brand needs to be congruent with everything that you are and everything that you do. This is not about making something up, it is about being authentically you, real and playing to your strengths.
How do you do this?
What I found is that I needed guidance and mentoring to help define my personal brand. Why? Because we are inside the mirror. We need other people, especially experts in this field, to help us be reflected back to us, so that we know really who we are, what our strengths are and how to be clear and congruent when we speak on stage, network, write an article, write a blog or build a website.
“The hand holding the awesome brochure better be congruent with its message” Looyen says.
Your Personal brand is your look, your feel, your voice, your behavior, the way your are with people, the way you coach, the way you turn up, the way you lead.
Consistency is the key.
It MUST be driven from inside, a sense of deep alignment with who you really are, what your values are, what you want your legacy to be.
For me, the defining of my personal brand was so key to my message, to how and what I want to teach women. My greatest strengths were hidden to me; not to anybody that knew me well as it was obvious to them, but to me I just couldn’t quite see what they were. I could feel them when I spoke on stage, or coached a client or ran a course, but how to put this into words was not clear to me at all. This is why I employed a coach to help me do that.
The way I show women how to personally brand themselves includes methods that are both straight up getting to know them, their strengths, their feel and the value that they bring; and pretty profound and mysterious!
What we arrive at is your “Feminine Success Avatar” who is revealed as the core, key you, often buried away, hidden deep inside you, aching to be brought to life and given a purpose to express herself in the world.
Once you know this, we puts words around it and what you are about.
Once you know this, your purpose has a very willing body to employ itself with.
Once you know this, all of the inner resources will rise up to meet you to act out your purpose with gusto and fervor.
An effective “Personal Brand” is not a “marketing promise,” it is a track record of demonstrated/sustained excellence.
An effective “Personal Brand” is marked by understatement, not overstatement.
An effective “Personal Brand” is not about solos, it’s about the power of your network.
An effective “Personal Brand” is 10% vision, 90% execution.
An effective “Personal Brand” has mud on her boots.
~ Tom Peters
Here’s to your awesome personal brand!