I often tell clients and audiences, “personal branding is a journey.” Over time, by being focused and intentional, you move in the direction of your desired reputation and become recognized for the values, skills and talents you strive to articulate and demonstrate. But, sometimes life gets in the way.
We are all undoubtedly busy. We run at a fast pace, deal with more distractions today than ever before, and have ever-changing technology “solutions” which are ultimately designed to make life more simple (but sometimes complicate our daily activities.) Amongst all this rush, we sometimes forget to focus on our ideal behavior and the promotion of our desired reputation.
As you navigate work, family and life, here are some steps to keep the focus on your personal brand journey:
1. Focus on your target audience. If your goal is to win over a colleague who insists on holding on to their first impression of you, when you were naive and unaware of your personal brand goals (and maybe you made some mistakes in how you treated others), realize that some people will never come around. Instead, focus on building brand relevance with audiences who hold opportunities for you (i.e. your supervisor, clients, vendors, key staff) and not on people who are harder to win over, and have little influence on your future.
2. Focus on your desired reputation. How would you like people to remember you? What values would you like people to know you by? What value do you want your target audience to assign you? Your desired reputation is the way you want people to perceive you. If you desire to be known as a well-read, innovative problem solver then demonstrate those skills and attributes and avoid distractions that pull you away from this reputation.
3. Focus on what you are doing right. Often when the personal journey gets challenging, we may question our progress. If you have heard my programs, or read my book, you know that I spend a lot of time teaching ways to measure and monitor your personal brand results, so you can continue to do what works, and stop doing what isn’t. Are people starting to refer clients to you? Are they introducing you with your new tagline? Are your teams operating more successfully? These are great indications that your personal brand work is moving in the right direction.
The best intentions are sometimes interrupted by the messiness (and loveliness) of life. That’s ok. Personal branding is a journey, and forward movement is progress!