Everything has a brand. Corporations. Countries. Sports teams. Animals. And… People. Everything has a brand.
A personal brand is quite simply made up of what you value, your strengths, your weaknesses, how you behave and how you treat other people, among many other things. Your brand is dynamic and always a result of what you put into it, or put another way, what you authentically pay attention to.
I say, “authentically” because your brand cannot be built by being someone that you are not. That ‘act’ is not sustainable, and it will come crashing down upon you.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room. It is what people rely on you or ‘trust’ you to be or behave in a very predictable manner in all kinds of situations.
How do you know what your personal brand is then?
This question is best answered with another question. What do you want your brand to represent? Remember, your brand has to represent something you are truly are.
Here is my list on how you can discover and build your personal brand:
- What are your core values? What are the principles that you hold near and dear to your heart? Your ‘GPS system’ if you will. My core values are… freedom, integrity, my family and friends, health and fitness and leadership. I will NEVER violate those principles and people close to me know that about me.
- What are your strengths? What are the key attributes that you are rock solid at? For myself, it is ‘GRIT’, which stands for guts (I am not afraid to try new things), resilience, innovation and tenacity (I am like a dog going for a bone when I am working on something).
- What are your weaknesses? What do you suck at? Do you need to mitigate them or… do admit you suck at it and are open and honest about it? I suck at detail. I cannot sit and listen to or look at vast amounts of detail. When forced to, my forehead hits the table really quickly. I am honest about it and people who respect my brand never force me to be something I am not. And… I seek out detail people to be on my team!
- What do other people say about you when you’re not in the room? Talk to people that you trust. Not your mother (because she loves everything you do). Same for your pets (they love you no matter what). Your friends? Maybe. The best people to seek out are the ones that will give you the honest truth. Be careful though, you may not like their answer. My mentors and trusted advisors are the ones I turn to. They are not afraid to tell me where I am screwing up my brand.
- Be true to your brand! Never, ever, burn your brand. Short term (easy) gains will most likely burn your brand. Take the road less travelled and always stay true to your brand. You will be rewarded with growth in your career, relationships and your life!
Robert Murray is a Vancouver, BC based Business Strategy Consultant, #1 Best Selling Author, and International Keynote Speaker. For further advice, insight and inspiration on how to unlock your inner leader, follow Robert on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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, It's Already Inside
, Personal Branding
, Robert Murray
, Robert S. Murray