Some people define personal branding as the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual by positioning them as an authority in their industry, elevating their credibility and differentiating themselves from the competition, to ultimately advance their career, increase their circle of influence and have a larger impact.
In other words, when you have a good and big personal brand, you go far and fast in career and/or in business. Therefore, you do need to create, boost and sustain a good personal brand. Today, we will focus on how you can build and boost your personal brand.
Let us look at the five ‘Es’ of a personal brand:
Expertise: The hub or centre of any personal brand is expertise. Through learning and experience, you need to build a set of skills that sets you apart from all. To reach the level where your expertise makes others respect you, you need to invest a lot of time and resources to acquire the necessary level of distinction in skills. Go the extra mile, do more than others to stand apart.
Expression: Expression is about your approach and type. Are you a big picture thinker or a detail person? Are you more of an analyst or a problem solver who when meets a problem enjoys and thrives at solving the complex problems? You need to find your rhythm and define yourself. This is not a simple yet very important aspect of personal branding. You need to be known for something. It could be that you are an action man or action woman.
Emotion: The third dimension of personal branding is emotion. You need to discover your primary or default emotional disposition. Are you a person who is generally serious or one that is generally positively minded? Are you a person that is known for being calm and collected or one that is quick to reaction and unsettled? While we all have our inborn default emotional disposition, you may want to redefine that as part of your building the personal brand that you want. Basically, you need to be aware of the emotions that you radiate to people around you and you need to understand their impact on the kind of personal brand that you have or the brand that you want to build.
Engagement: You need to define the style with which you engage with friends, colleagues and professional associates. Are you the type that is always going out to reach out to people where they are or you are the type that prefers to be found where you are? Are you the type that likes engagements to always be formal and serious or one that likes informal engagements or in between? Clearly, how you engage with others defines your personal brand through perceptions that are created in others based on how you engage them.
Everything else: A personal brand is wide and broad with so many elements into it. That is why the fifth element is ‘Everything else’. This includes the passion that you bring into what you do. This includes your hobbies and habits and so on. In tennis, one of the biggest players in recent decades has been Roger Federer.
He has been winning so many tennis championships. At the same time, he had this interesting style of play, kind of entertaining and smilingly. This is part of the everything else in his brand.
Remember that everyone has a personal brand of some sort. Some have a small personal brand while big celebrities and most big achievers have big personal brands. You have a choice to leave to chance the growth of your personal brand or to influence its growth. By learning the five ‘Es’ of a personal brand, you acquire the know-how for accelerating the growth of your personal brand. Good luck!