We’ve all bought one brand over another — your favourite soap, cereal, running shoe… you name it. But, have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you chose that product over another? It might have been because you like the ingredients they use or don’t use, or the reputation the company has for quality. It could even be that you value the contributions the company makes to your community. Whether it’s by referral of a trusted friend or your own experience with a brand, it’s what you think you know about it, good or bad, that will lead you to your purchasing decision. A brand is a perception in the mind of consumers.
Do you know, everyone has a personal brand? From the time you were born, you were groomed to behave in a certain way, you developed a personality and a set of values. And now that you’re older, you’ve delivered your own fashion style, your own way of speaking and acting — full blown personality traits! How you interact with people around you is how they’ll translate their own perceptions of you into your personal brand.
As I plan my next life project and decide where I want to take it — and that’s a project in itself! — there are a few things I’m going to ask myself. Who do I want to reach with my work? How to I want this audience to feel about me: Confident in my abilities? Approachable? Open-minded? Serious or fun? How I want people to see me will help me define the qualities and characteristics I should work on.
A good place to start is by understanding how people see me now. Is their perception of me aligning with how I’d like them to see me? Here’s an example. I’d like people to see me as reliable. When a friend needs help, am I available to be there? If I never show up or fail to keep promises, am I demonstrating the qualities of a reliable person? If I promised to post my blogs on Mondays and it’s already Thursday, I’m not doing a very good job at demonstrating reliability, am I?
Take some time to think of your personal qualities and the people around you. Who do they think you are? Is that how you want to be seen?