Branding used to be known as how corporate America used advertising to influence consumers to ‘buy their brand’. Branding has expanded to become more than just how items are sold, it also includes your personal brand – how you present yourself, how you view yourself and the way you impact those around you.
Marketing yourself is a vital part of your life, it impacts you personally as well as professionally. Learning about yourself and how you present yourself is vital. Your individuality is a unique feature, are your realizing how much you have to offer or selling yourself short?
LinkedIn advocates having your professional profile housed on their site. I found an interesting article from Kaitlin Zhang (listed in the resources below) about personal branding with profile videos. She suggests your brand video include who you are, what you do, your target audience, and how you add value. This video becomes your professional introduction presented in a multi-media format to keep the watcher engaged and give it the personal touch. Clarity in knowing yourself and your brand is important for telling a story of what you bring to the table.
There are many questions to consider, here are a few to get you thinking:
Are you making your mark in life? Sometimes we spend so much time dedicated to success, we forget to consider the significance of the life we are leading.
How would you describe yourself to a new acquaintance or in an interview? When you are starting with a clean slate, sometimes it’s easier to decide how to best define yourself. Asking feedback from friends and family might be helpful, we all have things they will readily say are our strengths – but getting insights on your growth opportunities (typically described as weaknesses) may be the most valuable.
Do you know yourself well enough to ‘sum yourself up’ in a compelling presentation? Recognizing your individuality can be important to your family, community, and business.
Sometimes thinking of your brand as your personal and/or professional mission statement can be helpful. Mission statements typically describe your ambition or the purpose which drives you – understanding these provide clarity. I believe your intentions give you focus and knowing what is important to you allows you to steer your life in the right directions.
Have you ever considered your contributions to those around you? Part of your value to those around you can be determined by your differences or uniqueness or your commonalities or similarities – we are all stronger through bringing together our varied views.
Collaboration can be an opportunity to learn about yourself as well as others. I love the pay it forward logic, when I help others I feel centered and learn about myself along the way.
If you aren’t already who you want to be, make that your starting point. Decide what you want to be remembered for and make sure to keep doing it so it becomes part of your personal and/or professional brand. Seeing who you are today can help you decide what you want in your life and where you want to focus your energy.
Robert Fulghum’s “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” book (listed in the resources below) called to me from the bookshelf the other day and I found some truisms I hadn’t considered in a while. Looking at the back cover, I was taken aback to see “live a balanced life – learn some and think some…play and work every day some”. To me living my brand is finding a balance between the gives and takes, between the work and play, and between the thinking and learning – but sometimes I forget.
Brené Brown has an excellent TED Talk (listed in the resources below) asking are you telling the story of who you are with your whole heart? She explores ‘connection’ giving our lives meaning and allowing us to be our best selves, where connections are drive our lives. Brené views human nature as alternating between ‘connection vs. disconnection’, where vulnerability is a key self-awareness which allows us to be both seen and understood. Our sense of belonging and worthiness can be based on feeling a strong sense of love, this drives our happiness and confidence.
Intention can be what drives you to get up every morning. To me living my brand implies I have found what matters and I am using my intention to bring out the best in others around me. I believe I shine when I help others, it brings meaning and purpose to my life. I hope you look at how you perceive yourself, uncover what you are committed to working towards in life and become the personal brand you want to be.
Fulghum, Robert. All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Ivy Books, 1989.
Brown, Brené. The power of vulnerability. TED Talk June 2010. Retrieved from www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability
Zhang, Kaitlin. How to Create a Profile Video for Your Personal Brand. Retrieved from www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-create-profile-video-your-personal-brand-kaitlin-zhang
WHEN® Thought Leadership by Kelly