What is a personal brand?
A personal brand is your story. It communicates the talents and values you represent to customers, colleagues and other professionals. It is the culmination of what you do and what you stand for. It exists not only in your online presence but also offline as well.
Why your brand is important
Think about every professional situation where you’ve attempted to impress someone, whether in interviews, job promotions or client relations. These are all examples of when having a well-defined personal brand can help you cultivate powerful connections. When you become intentional about your brand, you control how you market yourself, allowing you to manage your actions and choices to build credibility and trustworthiness.
Although a personal brand might seem quite a shallow concept at first, working on your brand can help you become a better and more genuine version of yourself. Having a firm grasp of who you want to be as an individual will make your decision-making and choices more consistent and in line with your values.
The critical elements of an effective personal brand
Before we discuss building a brand, it will be helpful to establish an effective personal brand. Although everyone’s brand is unique, there are some integral components to any good brand.
1. Authenticity. You can’t fake your brand. Doing so will only lead to inconsistencies in how you present yourself, which people will catch on to sooner or later. So, always start this process from a place of sincerity.
2. Values. Your brand values are your characteristics and traits people associate with you. Depending on your industry, profession and audience, these characteristics may be certain aspects of yourself that you want to amplify. For example, a public speaker may wish to enhance their fun-loving nature. Meanwhile, a business person may want to appear intelligent and ruthless. In contrast, an influencer may want to build a reputation for being hip and trendy.
3. Integrity. Building a personal brand isn’t just about obtaining success. It’s also about defining and sticking to your principles and not allowing external forces to compromise your integrity. When you are clear about what you stand for (and stand against), you can base your decisions on more than just monetary value.
4. Charisma. A good brand should make you stand out from the competition. After all, many people are good at what they do. So you must ask yourself, what about your story makes you unique? It may seem a tricky question at first. Only you have lived your life, and only you bring specific experiences to the table.
5. Trustworthiness. You’ll build trust in those around you when you deliver the work you say you can do and keep consistent with your values and principles. The result is better opportunities in your professional and personal life.