Are you developing a personal brand that resonates? Personal branding, like its corporate cousin, is based on a fixed set of brand values that are the foundation for your brand. Having and abiding by these values, gives you rules to live by. They must be lived up to even if you’re hurting and are tempted to bend them to suit a situation. Your values help to define your personal brand.
In developing a personal brand, I advise people to do it using a “differentiation strategy.” Look around you, what is the norm? If you’re a real estate agent, what is the general perception of the real estate agent? How can you take that perception and mold it into an advantage for you. If it is negative, can you rise above it and make a negative into an opportunity? Going against accepted perceptions is like a breath of fresh air. Over time, your personal brand will be defined as not your average agent. You stand out from the herd.
Now from this new position how else can you stand out positively? How about how you dress? How about how you interact with the community? Are you a giver? Make your brand all about them. Recently I had a gentleman full of pi** and vinegar wanting to partner with me mining new business. I didn’t think it was a good fit for me and declined the offer. But I felt we could perhaps develop another sort of relationship down the road. Well, the next time I saw him you’d think I’d grown a second head. He was no longer so friendly and amicable. This coldness, said volumes to me.
It told me his brand wasn’t genuine. He was a taker not a giver. It caused me to question his motives. Now, I could be wrong and read it the wrong way BUT with branding, the perception is reality. And my perception at that moment didn’t look good for him. One thing I strive to do is – even if I lose their business, I am still willing to give up information and insight that I feel they can use. I’ve often come across publicity opportunities that I’ve passed on to people whose business I didn’t get. I feel that even if they don’t require my services someone in their network may. A “no” isn’t always a negative. If behoves you to take an open mind and look beyond the obvious.
Being aware of your personal brand puts you in control of YOU. Letting your world define you is one scary place to be. You will spend most of your time trying to clean up perceptions that don’t flatter you. All of that effort is wasted. I enjoy nurturing my personal and corporate brands. They compliment each other naturally.
Nothing makes me happier than meeting a stranger, who says, “Ed Roach? – Hey! You’re that branding guy!“