I was rereading Rob Brown’s excellent book, How to Build Your Reputation, the other day and came across his thoughts on personal branding. A strong personal brand is one of the ways you create positive personal impact. Positive personal impact is one of the keys to success that I discuss in Straight Talk for Success.
“Your personal brand is everything that connects you to the outside world and that comes from deep within you.”
I like the idea of “deep within you.” Your personal brand must be authentic. The more your brand comes from deep inside you, the more authentic it is likely to be. For example, I am The Common Sense guy. This is more than just a brand statement, it is who I am. For as long as I can remember, I have had an innate ability to simplify complex situations and problems and come up with common sense suggestions for dealing with them.
At one point, I fought being known for my common sense. After all, I have a Harvard doctorate. Why go to all that trouble to get an educational credential when I am going to bill my strength as something all of us have, to one degree or another? However, I came to realize that my common sense coupled with my educational credentials makes for a powerful brand.
Rob provides a “Mini Reputation Quiz” that I think is helpful for anyone who is looking to discover his or her innate strengths and to build a strong personal brand. I’ve modified it a bit to fit with my thinking on personal branding and presented it below…
Mini Reputation Quiz
1. What do you stand for in your business and personal life?
2. From what you know, how do people think of you?
3. How would you describe your reputation and status in your business community?
4. When your name is mentioned in your absence, what do people think and say?
5. What defines you as a person? as a professional?
6. What are you currently known for?
7. What do you want to be known for?
8. What are you currently doing or not doing to enhance your personal brand?
9. What are you currently doing or not doing that is destroying your personal brand?
10. Who do you associate with? What does this network say about you?
Take a few minutes to answer these questions. Use the answers to build and nurture your personal brand. Do what you can to close the gaps between what you are currently known for and what you want to be known for, and you’ll take important steps to building your personal brand.
The common sense point here is simple. Successful people create positive personal impact. A strong personal brand is one of the keys to creating positive personal impact. Your brand must be authentic. As Rob Brown says, it must come from “deep within you.” You also need to take steps to build your brand. Once you decide on your brand, ask yourself the following question every night before you go to sleep, “Did the things I did today enhance or detract from my brand?” Eliminate the behaviors that detracted from the brand you are creating. Repeat and enhance the behaviors that enhanced the brand you are creating. It’s that simple – common sense really.
That’s my take on authenticity in personal branding and on how to build your personal brand. What’s yours? Please leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading – and commenting.