Updated: Nov 17, 2019
Building your personal brand
We’ve been wanting to do more guest posts ….and here is our first one!
I talk a lot abut about relationships and network. This post is a collaboration with one of our great relationships, Twine PR. I met Erin Molloy by way of an introduction of a mutual connection. We were both just launching our businesses. We quickly found a personal connection, shared philosophies and ways to help one another. In addition to our ongoing catch ups, Twine PR has done some great work for Pivotal Coaching. Checking out the Case Studies they did for us.
You know how important I think personal brand is! Here’s another perspective on personal brand along with some Q&As on the topic.
Guest Blog by Twine PR.
Twine PR is a Public Relations firm on the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. By definition, Twine brings together two or more pieces to form a stronger bond, which is the drive behind every client relationship and project.
What makes you, you? What traits make you different from others? What do you bring to the table that’s helpful? How do you communicate? Which of your characteristics do you want to project and have others feel? What's important to you?
Being conscious of this and checking yourself on every action, decision, investment, position and response to ensure it reflects who you are and how you want to come across, will help you maintain and build your personal brand.
But why does this matter? We’re willing to bet your reputation matters to you. Guess what? They’re the same thing.
As a leader, entrepreneur, employer, colleague and community-builder, it's important to put focus on your personal brand. It helps others get to know you and know what to expect. It garners trust and credibility. By working on this, we can better make decisions, trust our guts and control what will be accepted and heard. Knowing who you are, and making it clear at every turn, gains respect, and, therefore, a solid reputation.
Cultivating your personal brand doesn’t happen overnight, it's more important to be patient and build your momentum naturally. It’s about being genuine and expressing yourself in a thoughtful way.
Whether it’s a job interview, sales pitch, public speaking engagement, internal meeting, social media presence, or a media interview, knowing who you are, how to best show up and stand out works for getting results, and feeling good about them.
One way to showcase your personal brand is through thought leadership. Positioning yourself as a subject-matter expert who has something unique and valuable to share, helps you and your organization succeed. People trust people. We spoke with our trusted colleague, Lisa W. Haydon of Pivotal Coaching, on this topic as a large part of her focus is developing the personal brands of the leaders she works with. Here’s what what Lisa had to say:
How do you define "personal brand"?
Thank you for a focus on this! I have been strategically focused on my own personal brand since making a dramatic career change in 2009. It is now embedded in all our programming and coaching work.
A way to look at personal brand is think of the term brand. Now think about brands you trust. Recall memorable brand ads that have stayed with you. Like business brands, we as individuals hold the opportunity convey, engage and leave an impression through our personal brand experience.
Personal brand is a composition of several elements. While some of us may be similar, no two individuals mix their elements to make the same brand. I see personal brand as including your values, your purpose, your personality, your skills, your reputation and experience, and your brand in action. Each of us is distinctly different and offers the opportunity to provide a unique personal brand experience. We each own a distinctive brand and that gives us great potential to show up differentiated.
Why is it important for professionals to focus on their personal brand?
Personal brand is your most valuable professional asset! You want to invest and build your brand to have it give you high returns for 40 - 50 years! Building the brand you want others to know you for involves strategy, management and using it in the market. Personal brand takes time to build and is fragile. What takes 20 years to build can evaporate in moments. The good news that if you are managing your brand, you are able to be proactive against brand damaging situations. We can all easily remember those leaders who have had brand damaging moments.
What are your favourite tips for leaders, business owners and professionals to start thinking about what their personal brand is?
I like to borrow from Tom Peters. Tom Peters coined the concept of “A Brand Called You”. My recommendation is for you to think of yourself as the CEO of a high value company called Me Inc. Me Inc. manages a very important asset call “You”. As a CEO, you have important work to do on the asset of You.
My second tip is on getting feedback. With every interaction, encounter and reaction, we are creating a branding moment. The only way to know the experience of your brand by others is feedback. Think about using feedback in a structured, and regular, approach to really know how others are experiencing your brand.
How can leaders and business owners, in particular, develop their personal brands?
Of course a coach will tell you there’s work you can do! Behind any personal brand work is a foundation of self-knowledge and then conveyed into a personal brand plan. By using the word plan, you’ll know that your personal brand work is not a one-time event. Consider what a gap analysis could do. Specifically, what is the gap between your desired brand/career and where you are today. What’s missing to get you where you want to go? The gaps support your investment in You Inc for the long term and the personal brand plan you need to build.
How does developing your personal brand impact your team, colleagues and overall business success?
Relationships are at the core of working in a business and in teams. Interpersonal savvy is a competency we see great importance on mastering. The more clear and consistent we can be on our personal brand, the more clear our team will know who we are and how they interact with us. Clarity by experience and action build trust. Trust is the what makes teams and cultures work well. Bottom line, personal brand fuels a number of important leadership competencies.
Lisa W. Haydon is the President and Founder of Pivotal Coaching Inc. She left her comfortable corporate career several years ago to follow her passion of helping people realize their potential and companies to realize high performance. Lisa is a growth focused entrepreneur, leadership development consultant and certified executive coach. To her clients, she brings business experience with prestigious corporations and continuous education. Lisa’s work in business operations and B to B sales expertise allowed her to create a differentiated coaching model and client experience. Lisa and Pivotal Coaching are known for 1:1 and cohort Programs in leadership development and sales effectiveness.