One of the benefits of a personal brand is it works for you. The level of benefit is directly proportional to how developed your personal brand is. The assumption here is that you have already defined your personal brand(s), and you have been developing it.
You spend time building a brand and now it is time to let that brand start to derive benefits and opportunities.
How do you know when your brand is ready to start working for you?
During initial stages of brand development, the assumption is your audience is not quite aware of your brand, or at least not to the extent to which you want them to be aware. As you move further through the process of building a brand people will start to know and understand your brand.
Indications that my brand had started to work for me showed through the way people would introduce me in social settings. Instead of being introduced by name only, some people began attaching things like-
- he is an expert on developing relationships
- he teaches MBA students at the University of Houston how to form relationships
- he is the one that I was telling you about who helped me put together a relationship development plan
- you have to talk to him about relationships
While I do not remember the first time these type of descriptors started popping up, I do remember the overwhelming sense of both awe and bewilderment I felt. On one hand it was an amazing thing to hear said about me, but on another hand it was quite frightful- now I had to live up to it!
Now that your brand is ready to work for you, how do you take advantage of it?
Setting your brand up to work for you is subjective, it’s not like we wake up one morning and open the front door as push the brand out into the world and it goes up and down main street looking for opportunities.
Below are 5 steps to putting your brand to work for you.
Step 1- Know where you are going
This is a key element that cannot be overlooked. Goals and personal brands go hand-in-hand. Brand building is directly tied to the goals that you have set for yourself. To learn more about goals, see my article titled Setting Goals.
Step 2- Determine how you want to get there
You have an end point to which you are seeking to reach. (i.e., becoming a leading political king-maker in your city) Now you must map out the milestones that you need to reach that will play a role in helping you reach this goal. With milestones in place now you are ready to determine what activities, events, engagements, and organizations you need to pursue.
Step 3- Find opportunities to showcase your brand
Finding opportunities to showcase your brand is a key part of not only maintaining it, but building it as well. If you are seeking to become an expert in a certain area or topic, then find (or even create) opportunities such as-
- counseling others
- guest lecturer
- writing articles
- public speaking
- positions in relevant organizations
Step 4- Keep your brand front and center
Self promote. Donald Trump is an easy reference of both the benefits of self promotion and self promotion gone amuck. Be careful to not hype yourself beyond what you can deliver, and most importantly not to the point of annoying others. However, look for opportunities to remind people what your key brand is, what your strengths are, and how this benefits them, etc.
Step 5- Measuring your brand
Measuring the effectiveness of your efforts and decisions is a key element. There are many ways that you can choose to measure your brand- simple to sophisticated. Your goals and the stage of brand development will determine this. In the early stages simple measurements are probably adequate. However, as you move closer to a national political career, or are seeking a major publishing deal, people will take a keen interest in more in depth analysis of measuring our brand’s effectiveness.
The steps listed above are never really complete. Throughout your life and professional career you should be developing and refining both your brand and your goals. As a result you will find that you continually go through these 5 steps over and over again.
Good luck and most of all, have fun putting your personal brand to work for you!
© 2012 Rex Humphries