The coronavirus has made 2020 the year for each of us to rethink, reboot, and rebrand. For many, 2019 was a great year with hopes that 2020 would be even better. Then BAM!!! We got derailed by a virus that drastically changed each of our lives with school closings, layoffs, furloughs, and business closures that continue to leave us fearful of a future where we might be left behind.
As a result, many of us are home with time on our hands. Instead of looking at the glass as half full, take advantage of this situation! Now is the time to invest in yourself and grow.
You can take control of your future by reconnecting to your values and rebooting your personal brand. Stop and think about where you want to be in the next two years. Begin by taking action by focusing on yourself and developing your personal brand.
It is the perfect time to rethink, reboot, and rebrand your career, your business, and your life.
What is Personal Branding
In 1997, Tom Peters published an article in Fast Company, where he said, “Today, in the ‘Age of the Individual,’ you have to be your own brand.”
I think of Tom Peters as the Father of Personal Branding. His introduction of the concept “The Brand You,” back in the late ’90s, opened the door to the idea of branding yourself just as you would market a product by influencing others. To do this, you begin by focusing on your personality, strengths, and perspective. Then identify the qualities that differentiate you from the competition.
Peters summed up his thoughts on personal branding by saying, “Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of personal branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. Our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.”
Fast forward to today, personal branding is the process that establishes your public persona and reputation in the minds of others. It involves carefully communicating your values, personality, core beliefs, purpose, and goals while serving your target audience.
According to Jeff Bezos, “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”
You already have a brand, and it’s called your reputation. Because the real measure of your personal brand comes from others, you must elicit feedback from those who know you. Ask questions of the people in your life to see what others see in you, look at the results, and compare what they say to who you know you are and how you want to be seen.
Building a personal brand is not a speedy process. You can’t do it in a day or two. It takes time, honesty, and the courage to make changes in order to grow. When done correctly, it is your #1 marketing tool to grow your career, business, and life.
What Personal Branding Is Not
1. Personal branding is not a made-up image or persona of who you want to be.
No spin here! When you take the time and build your personal brand, you must base it on authenticity by showing the world who you are. That said, you have to take some time and examine what’s important to you—deciding what sets you apart from others.
2. Personal branding is not about boasting or bragging.
Personal branding is truth-telling, not boasting. The key to a successful personal brand is to add value wherever possible. A great personal band marketer knows how to toot their own horn without blowing it!
3. Personal branding is not all about you!
Personal branding is about discovering your value and delivering that value to others. People with the most effective personal brand know what makes them great, and they use that to increase the success of their customers and their team members.
Why Do I Need a Personal Brand?
Today, your Personal Brand is your #1 priority if you are building a career or just entering the workplace if you are a CEO, a business owner, or an entrepreneur. Your brand continuously builds your reputation. Your brand grows businesses and careers.
Here are some more reasons why it’s essential to develop your personal brand.
1. Shows your value
Developing an authentic personal brand highlights where you bring value to those you serve and helps you gain clarity about the problems you solve. The best way to add value is to be a giver and deliver free content that addresses the problems that you solve.
2. Builds your credibility
When you develop a strong personal brand, you build your credibility through your expertise and persona. It is essential to highlight your experience, add to it your authority, and then watch your credibility skyrocket.
3. Increases your visibility
A great personal brand helps you stand out from the crowd by elevating your message above all the other noise. It shows you have spent time developing your brand.
4. Grows your personal awareness
When you start the rebranding process, you become more aware of how you show up and how people respond to you—every interaction a person has with you matters. Every email, Zoom meeting and phone call builds or tears down your brand.
5. Helps you gain clarity
While developing your brand, the first question you will address is, “What problem do you solve?” What is it that you do to help others solve their problems?
6. Opens the doors to new opportunities
As you grow your brand and show up both online and offline, your network will grow. You will connect with people who need your services and see where you bring value.
While we buy a wide variety of products and services every day, we attach ourselves to the people behind these brands – not the products themselves. Your personal brand is what will connect you to and attract your most ideal customers.
So take time today and seize this opportunity to re-evaluate how effective your brand is. In other words, take time to rethink, reboot, and rebrand.