What is your favorite brand of clothing? Sports equipment? Eyeglasses? Coffee? Why do you love that brand? Why are you loyal to it, even if it is difficult to find, more expensive or not the highest quality? These same questions apply to people. Who are you loyal to? Who do you prefer to do business with? Who is your go-to? Why? Building a professional personal brand can help you get ahead by clearly defining your goals and differentiating you from the competition.
Just like products, services and companies are branded, individuals can also be branded. A personal brand is nothing more than the consistent impression that others have when they interact with you. A personal brand can apply to business or personal interactions. At my current company, Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine Professional Corp. our brand is changing lives – the lives of our clients – one case at a time. That drives why we do what we do, how we do it, and the experience that our clients have when they work with us.
A personal brand can help you stand out from your competitors and help you achieve your goals faster. Only 15% of people have a personal brand. Of those individuals only 5% consistently live that brand. By developing and consistently living your brand in all your interactions, you have an opportunity to do something that only 5% of the population does! What an opportunity. You can’t afford to ignore that type of differentiation and fuel for achieving your goals.
So how do you develop a personal brand? First, you need to know yourself! Start with these questions:
- What are your needs that need to be met?
- What values or principles are important to how you live/do your job?
- What are you passionate about? What excites you?
- What are your strengths?
- How are you unique/different than others?
- What do people see/feel/experience when they interact with the REAL you?
Once you’ve determined what your brand is, then monitor your behavior and ask yourself if you exhibited your brand after every meeting, every interaction and especially after difficult or conflict ridden interactions. If you can say yes, then you’ve clearly got a brand. If not, you may need to explore who you are and how you come across to others in more detail. Ask 8-10 people that know you well to tell you what they believe your unique qualities are, what can they always rely on you for, why they trust you, and three words that describe the feeling they experience when they interact with you. Compare their responses to the brand you defined. How are they different? Similar? This may lead to some insights and shifts if you believe your brand is something other than what they experience and believe.
Brands must be cared for and cultivated. So whatever your brand is, don’t neglect it. Anytime you are facing a tough choice, ask yourself if the action you are contemplating is consistent with your brand.
For more information check out Entrepreneur, Gary Vaynerchuk’s article on personal brands in Real Estate. His 4 tips can be applied to anyone, not just Real Estate professionals!
Get out there and get to know yourself and build your personal brand to stand out from your competitors and achieve your goals faster!