Personal brand – it’s definitely a buzzword nowadays. Think about big-name influencers. Gary Vaynerchuk, for example, has built an enormous “personal brand,” as he calls it. A personal brand is what someone is known for (in his case, it’s his wine business and marketing knowledge). John Maxwell is known for his leadership and personal growth expertise. Dave Ramsey is branded as a personal finances expert. The funny thing is, none of this type of branding is what I want to cover in this blog post.
When you think of a brand, what comes to mind? I say “Nike,” you say “Just Do It” (or maybe “Colin Kaepernick” based on recent events). I say “McDonalds” and you think of burgers or “I’m loving it.” What do you associate with brands? Does your association involve trust? I’m an Apple fan. When I think of Apple, I think of a clean design and a user-friendly interface. But when I think of Microsoft, I think of the “blue screen of death” after many frustrating attempts at writing essays in high school (sorry Microsoft fans). My question is this:
When others think of you, how do they react?
Do people trust you? Can people rely on you being somewhere on time (this is a personal branding issue I am working through myself)? Companies put millions of dollars into developing their brands and the successful ones do so with great intentionality. Others don’t and they suffer for it. In the same way, if you want to increase your impact and influence, you must put great intentionality into your brand. How do I mean? Let’s look at one’s actions.
I would consider someone that I know to be a party seeker. It’s slightly different from a “party animal” but this individual definitely lives for the weekends. Here’s the problem. This individual doesn’t have much influence in my life because I have decided that I don’t want someone who drinks in excess (regularly) and has one-night stands to be someone that speaks into my life. I don’t trust this person’s opinions and advice because I see some major flaws with this individual’s actions and character.
Your influence will be accelerated or thwarted based on the brand you set through your actions.
On another scale, if you don’t develop the personal brand that you want to have, it can impact people’s opinion of you even in small matters. Do you get distracted easily from what you say you’re going to do? You start something aaand…. look there’s something else shiny that you can pursue! If this happens often, do you think someone will consider asking you to be a part of something large if they don’t think you’ll persevere?
I’m currently working on a series of blog posts about this personal brand topic and will continue posting about it in the near future. I believe it is the first step to developing the influence that you want to have. Everyone wants to make a difference in the world but that must start by developing consistency between your actions and your words.
How have you branded yourself and what actions can you take today to improve trust in your brand? For me, it means giving myself 5-10 minutes extra to get anywhere because I have an unrealistic expectation for the amount of time I’ll be on the road. I don’t want my lack of punctuality to impact my ability to influence others. Let me know in the comments what you are going to change today!
Read the next post in this series titled Brand Yourself: How Your Words Affect Your Influence on Others