This post is part two of a three part series on personal branding. This article is meant to help you detect your personal brand. Your personal brand is often the same as your business brand-especially if it’s a small or micro business. The third part of this series will show you how to consciously change it.
Every time you label someone a brown-noser, blondie, marketing guy, or a techie-you are (sometime inadvertently) referring to their brand name. At first look these are mere labels, but a deeper look reveals the brand these individuals have built for themselves-consciously or unconsciously.
So how do you determine your own personal brand?
- Ask around. Ask your friends and colleagues how they would describe you. If you are feeling especially brave-ask your employees. What do they think your strengths and weaknesses are? Watch the couple of first terms they use to describe you. These are probably good cues to look at in detecting your brand name. Example-Joe asks his team member Stacey as to what she thinks of him. She instantly says, “Joe, you are brilliant with computers and I love your logical mind.” Logical and Technical are two “brand” words connected to Joe.
- Identify your ‘scarce’ skills. What skills do you have that are considered rare in your environment? Often in an IT department, good salesmanship is rare. Or perhaps you speak Mandarin and French in an industry where English and Spanish are the norm. These rare skills differentiate your brand name from others. Seek them out.
- Analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. If I could suggest one activity to all business owners, it would be to journal. Take ten minutes of quiet time and list all your traits. Don’t worry about getting it right, just write freely. At the end of ten minutes, you will see that one trait really jumps out at your or different words have been used to highlight the same trait. For example- my list consisted of high energy, energizing, lots of stamina, positive. All these words pointed at the fact that I am an energetic individual. This is also the first trait that stands out in my business.
Personal brand names, which often tend to overlap your business brand, can either help you or hinder you. The third part will look at how to alter your personal brand.