Personal branding is not for the faint of heart. It’s not a quick fix and it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s not about building a false persona or changing who you are. It is about connecting with your genuine values and goals, and building a strategy around how to get there. It’s about committing to that strategy and executing on it consistently and with intention.
When you set out to build a strong personal brand, you are defining how you want your life to look and how you will commit to bringing that vision to life. The rewards are too great to speed through any part of the process. The more deliberate and intentional your efforts, the more powerful the results. Go into this process with your eyes wide open, and embrace these moments that feel the hardest – they are likely pushing you forward the most:
Honest Self-Assessments – A hard, honest look at your personal assets is critical at every stage of the personal branding process. From the very beginning, you want to proceed with a realistic assessment of your strengths and weakness. Have a clear understanding of your goals and values and whether your strengths alone are enough to get you there.
Feedback – Ask for it and really listen to it. It’s one thing to assess your strengths and weaknesses in your own head, it’s quite another to ask friends and colleagues if they agree with those assets. Understanding how others perceive you helps you monitor your progress toward your desired reputation.
Consistent Marketing – Communicating your brand values takes time and effort and consistency. Whether you’re building an online reputation, which requires consistent participation in discussions, or marketing yourself in person, which means showing up to networking events and staying connected, you have to show up consistently in order to build credibility.
Accountability – Holding yourself accountable can be a very daunting task! Living up to someone else’s expectations is often easier – there are consequences to not following through. But we can easily let ourselves off the hook when it’s convenient to do so. Put reward/consequence systems in place to keep yourself accountable and stay on track.
Facing Fear – Along the path to building your desired reputation, you’re bound to stumble upon those nagging questions that roll around inside your head. Am I on the right path? Am I really any good at this? Am I getting anywhere? The purpose of having a strategy is to refer back to it during these moments of uncertainty. Check in with your brand promise to make sure you are on track, but don’t let fear derail your actions.