Personal branding | pər-sə-nəl bran-diŋ |
1. the process by which individuals and entrepreneurs differentiate themselves and stand out from a crowd by identifying and articulating their unique value proposition.
Personal branding allows you to clearly define who you are within your existing company (whether you are in sales, in marketing, in finance or legal, just to name a few). Whether professional or personal, leveraging it across platforms with a consistent message can enhance recognition as an expert in your field. Doing so establishes reputation and credibility, advances your career, and builds self-confidence.
All successful companies have a brand that clearly defines what they stand for. Think of Apple, they have been consistent with their brand from the first SuperBowl ad from 1984….think different! Figuring out what you stand for helps define your essence and will give you a clearly specific personal brand.
Many sales professionals do the same things. The business world has many options for clients, and the salesperson is the differentiator. So you have to think:
- What differentiates you from every other professional in your industry?
- What is your specialization?
- How have you branded yourself?
- How are you promoting yourself?
- How are you known around the office?
- How do you want to be remembered by clients?
All of these questions help you connect with your personal brand in addition to the company brand.
When you develop your brand, you differentiate yourself with something unique while self-selecting your audience by your specificity. You have chosen to become the expert of that chosen industry/category.
Isolating yourself from your audience is so helpful in the grand scheme. It differentiates you from everyone else because you only need to ask for a very specific prospect or referral. Decide on your specificity and how you want to brand yourself along with choosing what tools you will use to deliver your messaging. Tools like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), or a simpler version of it, something I call the daily dashboard.
Reminder: You don’t have to decide on your specialty, what your brand will look like, and what tools you will deliver all at once.
After a new sales rep, Monica, moved from San Diego to Arizona, she began referring to herself as “San Diego.” Instead of her clients calling her by her first name, they used “San Diego.” Nicknames can help clients remember who you are and will even sometimes bring it up in random conversations. “San Diego” is a simple example of a personal brand.
Branding should be fun and includes just enough different to be memorable. Think for a second about iconic celebrities that are instantly recognizable. They have personal brands that are burned into our collective unconscious.
Tyra Banks. Ellen Degeneres. Aishwarya Rai. Betsey Johnson. Taylor Swift. Salma Hayek. Oprah. Barbara Walters. Joan Rivers. Beyonce. Margaret Cho. Serena Williams.
Personal branding has never been easier with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, or even a simple blog.
Tools available…you could use any of the following:
- godaddy.com Website Tonight™ and create your own website from their templates!
If you don’t have those tools already, you could set up all of them in a few hours. The easy part is setting them up…the work comes to maintain and update consistency. Think about how you plan on keeping up to date with them.
As the world continues to create niches, humanizing yourself from your competitors that are all saying the same thing and giving a canned response when asked “what do you do?” Instead of being a salesperson, you can be a “splendiferous server,” you can be a “business optimizer.”
Have fun with your personal branding so you see yourself as more than just a business professional and, when you do, your clients will as well.
Share some of your personal branding tips in the comments below: what has worked for you? What hasn’t?
If you’re having trouble developing a personal brand or wish to talk more, I invite you to a free complementary chat so we can work through this process.
As always, I encourage you to enjoy life daily.