Did you know that you have a brand? Your brand is simply your public image. This public image can be defined as the average perception others have of you and of their relationship with you.
Obviously, I’m not talking about logos and slogans here. I’m talking about the images and thoughts that come to mind when people think of you. Perhaps more importantly, do you come to mind when people think of those images and thoughts?
Your brand is consistent, distinctive, and absolute. Your beliefs, values, actions, words, and way of dealing with people and issues all shape your brand. By controlling those aspects, you can control the brand; and therefore, others’ image of you.
Your own personal style, of course, plays a major role in your brand and others’ perception of it. Mold your style, and you’ll mold your brand. Other key aspects of your brand include your work, industry, and free time activities. Do people see you as merely a parent, teacher, or even just a generic office worker?
Of course, there’s more to you than that. It’s up to you to show that to people. Obviously, your friends and family already know the other sides of you; but does your public? Your boss? Your customers?
We’re told all our lives “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”; but the people who you know are much more likely to help you get ahead if they have a positive image of you. Brand yourself, and your image will become more desirable; even irresistible. Always leave them wanting more.
Take a moment to consider who you are, and how you want that to reflect upon you when evaluated by others. What have you done for the world, your community, and even total strangers? What have you created? What are the core driving forces that determine your direction? Figure these things out, and you’ll know how to develop your brand.
Now that you have your brand, it’s time to take ownership of it. I’m not talking about ownership of property, mind you – It’s about ownership of an image; Responsibility for who you are.
Taking responsibility – and being held accountable – for who you are is subjective and varies from brand to brand, image to image; so I’ll leave the details up to you. The key take-away here is go do it. Once you’ve decided to do that, the “how” will come to you.