I have always been asked, what is the difference between personal image and personal branding? Well, they are absolutely two different things. However, as a personal brand strategist, I work with these two components in tandem, and they usually bring out an amazing outcome. First and foremost, an image is what people see of you visually. The way you talk, walk, dress and dine; including your etiquette. On the other hand, personal branding is the depiction of your strengths, passion, values and most definitely skills. In short, personal branding is the whole representation of yourself –the image included. It’s the verbal and non-verbal communication combined with physical attributes and what you choose to surround yourself with. Projecting the right quality will help you stand out from your competitors and peers.
To have a successful personal brand, you need to identify the quality that is authentically you and have a clear understanding of your goals, your vision, your passion, values and purpose. From time to time, stop and ask yourself if your behavior is indeed consistent with your values. It is imperative to know that in order to communicate your values successfully. You also need to understand how you are perceived; in fact, that is the essence of personal branding. This enables you to see how you can, with your own personal attributes, manage the perception of others when they view you. From there, you can work on communicating your unique values.
Personal branding is about developing a particular persona that has been created around your name. This persona can then be used to relay what you communicate, your personality, values and skills. Being consistent every day is key. You send messages about yourself all day long, both visually and behaviorally. It will not only help how you are perceived by your friends, your co-workers and your boss, you will be living your truth, or in other words, your authentic “YOU.”
“Your personal brand is your trademark.
Are you living it consistently?”
If you send consistent messages about who you are, you will find that people trust you more, and will want to develop a relationship with you. Life and success are all about building relationships to bond with people, sell products, get the job you want and furthermore, propel you forward to achieving career success.
Building a personal brand that is genuinely you, takes time. It’s work! Your persona will not be carved in few short days. It will take a lot of effort, but it will be well worth it. The need for personal branding will continue to grow, going forward. However once that is established, it is yours to keep. It is indeed an important requirement that sets you apart from others. So, go for it! Look within and around you; create for yourself something that is only exclusively yours. Make yourself a brand that will be talked about and remembered because that is the only way to attain whatever you have set your mind on.
I also believe that if you don’t have the image, or in other words, the “polish” to your brand, you are missing the boat. Image along with impactful Communication skills and good business Etiquette will set you apart even more from your competition. In other words, I.C.E. Your Way to the Top!
Once you have defined your personal brand, you will understand how important this is to developing an impactful leadership style. Most people skip this step and find themselves stuck in a position because they lack one or all of the pieces of their brand in order to get promoted or get hired in a new job. By stepping up to stand out, you will I.C.E. your way to the top! Attitude and believing in yourself is so important. So, are you ready to develop your personal brand to stand out?
“There is no greater challenge than the challenge to improve yourself – You just have to jump in and do it”