Personal branding involves the creation of strong, unique and favourable associations in the minds of other people about you. It is not limited to celebrities & public figures anymore and can significantly impact your success in different spheres of life! Image management is key to personal branding as it helps you manage you and your image to the outside world in a favourable way that is unique to you!
The following are the steps that one should follow to build a Personal Brand:
Determine Who You Are
Since personal brands reflect on the person, one must ask– what do I do that makes me different (Tom Peters). This forms the core of what one want to project outside. We must identify our greatest strengths and most noteworthy personal traits.
Determine What You Do
This involves writing down what is it that you are great at doing? It involves asking oneself - What do I do that adds remarkable, measurable, distinguished, distinctive value? What do I do that I am most proud of? This reflects a person’s passion and the kind of work one wants to do in life.
After identifying the above two, the person needs to communicate the same to the external world through his actions, appearance, mannerisms, words and every possible touch point. The same will translate into others thinking about the person is a specific way and associating certain qualities or characteristics that make a person distinctive from his competitors or colleagues. What would my colleagues or my customers say is my greatest and clearest strength?
Manage Your Brand
According to Montoya, the key to any personal branding campaign is "word of mouth marketing." The network of friends, colleagues, clients, and customers is the most important marketing vehicle that a personal brand has got. What they say about the brand is what the market will ultimately gauge as the value of the brand. Thus while you interact with these key groups think about what you want to communicate and what you want them to think when you leave. Therefore take time in dressing, grooming, choosing body language, thinking what words to say etc when you meet them to project intended image. Make sure of the same in social media, emails and every other interaction.
Image Management of an individual at all times is critical to building a Personal Brand because the way you appear affects the way you think/feel, the way you act and the way others react to you!