Building a personal brand can be very challenging, especially when you are in the position of having to transition and redefine exactly what your brand is. A lot of people are mistaken when it comes to understanding just how much persistence is required to become known for something in your industry. You must remember that building your personal brand is not an overnight process. In certain cases no matter what you do, people will always see you in a certain light. The biggest mistake you can make is to begin building your personal brand without having a clear understanding of some of the key areas a mentioned below. Choosing to make progress without considering these factors will lead to lots of confusion and wasted effort. Here are some questions you should consider when thinking about building your personal brand.
1. What do I represent?
There is no way you can build your personal brand without truly knowing yourself and what you represent. You must think about the most important aspects of your life and what makes you who you are as far as your values. I have realized that outside of having a career title, most people don’t even know their mission or what their life stands for. This is a major problem. If you create a brand that is not aligned with who you are, you will eventually be exposed. Over time you will lose the trust and credibility that is essential to having a successful personal brand.
2. What are my areas of expertise?
Knowing the areas that you thrive in will make it that much easier for you to better understand your overall brand and how to package yourself. Think about those things that you can talk about and execute in your sleep. Think about those areas of life you excel in that are transferable to many different industries. Is it your ability to communicate? Is it your ability to lead? Knowing your strengths will help you determine how to best position your brand.
3. Who is my target audience
You must take the time to think about your ideal customer, team, and environment. You must invest time in understanding their challenges, their perspectives, and their desires. Many people build their personal brand without having a clear understanding of what types of audiences they appeal to most and end up becoming frustrated by surrounding themselves with those who don’t value them or what they have to offer. One of the most empowering moments in my life was when I finally realized that I could not please everyone. I had to understand that certain people would always see me in a certain way and never value what I have to offer. At the same time, I realized that there are people and environments that would welcome me with open arms, see me in a completely different light, and support me no matter what.
4. Who can I partner with?
Once you have determined what you represent, your areas of expertise, and your target audience it is important that you think in terms of collaboration. One of the misconceptions of building a personal brand is thinking that you have to be on an island and build it by yourself. Finding other individuals, companies, associations, etc. who are aligned with the factors mentioned above will further help to accelerate and confirm that you are on the right track. There is always strength in numbers and finding those who are in alignment with your values and competencies will allow you to harness new thoughts and ideas that you may have never discovered while operating in isolation.
These are just a few things to consider when you are in the process of building your personal brand. Once you can begin to answer these questions I believe you will put yourself in the position to build with confidence and not end up rebranding yourself again and again down the road.
Rennie Curran is a speaker, personal development coach, and the author of “Free Agent” — Intangible Assets For Overcoming Adversity and Times of Transition.” You can follow him on Twitter @RennieCurran53, Instagram @RennieCurran, or visit his website at www.RennieCurran.com.