I’ve been getting a lot of questions about ‘personal brand’ lately. See earlier postings too: November “Introducing Yourself” and August “Personal Brand”.
Basically, your ‘brand’ is what you stand for. Some folks will use the concept to create a marketing plan for oneself; some will use it as a buzzword; and some will associate it with workplace employee development.
Your brand is your personal style, your ethics, your skills, your consistency and your plans/dreams. It’s reflected in your choices, your questions and statements, and the people with whom you surround yourself and who you attract.
It’s not how you talk about yourself; it’s how others talk about you.
You can market it but your actions should back up your words. You are your brand. You can’t try one on like a jacket; it’s your skin. Personal brand is, ultimately, your reputation.
I was just pondering personal brand while I sat in a coffee shop alone for 45 minutes and my appointment stood me up. However, I know there’s a good reason and I offer her the benefit of the doubt.
Conversely, I waited 10 minutes for a colleague on a project the other day and was fuming.
It’s that simple. Call it integrity, trust, likeability, reputation - you can’t fake it.
It’s why folks will approach you for mentoring. It should be part of your planning with your mentor.
Don’t get hung up on “personal brand” as a concept - focus on the pieces that create it.