That Personal Branding is only for the select few is a commonly held perception that needs to be busted. This is also partly because awareness about Personal Branding is very low in nations like India, unlike the acceptance it has found in the Western world.
A common misconception is that a Brand is for a company, product or service.
What is a Brand anyway? A Brand is a promise of quality and credibility.
- Each one of us reading this has her/his own Brand.
- The journey begins with being aware of our brand’s attributes.
- What are the key attributes about me as an individual or my areas of expertise as a professional?
- Have I myself identified these with any degree of clarity?
- How could I could benefit by highlighting these consistently?
A colleague once asked me, “Is Personal Branding about packaging?”
Well, if you go by the literal connotation, it would appear to be so. I replied to her,
“No. Personal Branding is the opposite of packaging. It is the unveiling of the real you.”
Think about this. Haven’t we come a long way as digitalisation and social media makes the world smaller? We want to know people more intimately. Therefore, the Personal Brand of the CXO of a large corporation is not just about his professional success. We want to delve deeper. We are eager to know about the human side of his story. Haven’t we seen the biggest of them all, whether celebrities from the world of entertainment or sports, reveal their vulnerabilities? This brings them closer to us.
Where there are vulnerabilities there are strengths also, which make certain people stand heads and shoulders above others. Values which we admire them for. Reputations they have built over a long period and their conduct in public domain. So, we know of many people who have outgrown their organisations. In fact, the fortunes of Corporations sometimes depend on individuals’ charisma (in addition to the person’s competence, of course).
The story is not only about the human aspect, which makes the person more accessible to the target audience (which might be millions in case of super stars).
Not all of us are automatically in the limelight as celebrities are. Therein lies the challenge as well as opportunity to increase visibility. Whatever your professional strength or skill set is, it forms the backbone of the branding exercise.
Who could benefit from Personal Branding?
- Professionals such as Doctors, Lawyers, Surgeons who are barred from Advertising by their respective Associations.
- StartUps and Small/Medium Enterprise owners who are otherwise thwarted by big budget demands of mass advertising.
- Creative Professionals such as Authors, Photographers, Designers, Interior Decorators, Performance Artistes, Musicians & Painters.
- Life Coaches and Trainers
- CXO’s and other Key Executives of organisations.|
We live in exciting times where Social Media is the biggest equaliser of all!
If regimes have been overthrown by its collective power of the voice of the people on Social Media, imagine the potential for us to benefit professionally by being more visible on it. It is all about projecting an identity most authentic to our real selves, narrating our story consistent with key attributes and then making ourselves heard and seen on relevant Social platforms.
This extends to offline interactions too. Is the story of how we behave, speak and connect offline in sync with the persona people see online?
How can you Benefit? The ‘W.I.I.F.M.’ Question.
1) Being more visible~ in a world where one is bombarded with so many inputs from multiple sources constantly, that’s a beginning to branding.
2) Building credibility~ a brand strategy that communicates your professional strengths with conviction does that for you, separating you from the ‘me too’s ‘.
3) Stamping your Authority~ in your area of expertise among peers, clients and prospects. You already had strengths which set you apart. The world now sees you with heightened respect when you share knowledge about your profession and begin to be perceived as an expert in your domain and among the very best. A clear and critical shift of perception.
4) This expands your reach tremendously~ I sometimes say jokingly when someone seeks my business card: ‘Search Google!’. Yes, such is the impact of a consistent and successful Personal Branding initiative that one’s name becomes a digital address~ the value of a digital trail.
We at AVC Consultancy can help you in your Personal Branding exercise. And how exactly can we contribute?
By helping you identify your key strengths which would propel your Personal Brand. We make your task simpler so that as a busy professional you can focus on your career while we take care of your Personal Branding. From coaching you to storytelling. From Branding strategy to content creation. Know more about this on our pages ‘Content Creation‘ and ‘Storytelling‘.
The benefits are manifold.
Let’s Walk (and Grow)Together!